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Summer Sweets : A Cold Shot

BACK TO BASICS

August 26, 1993|JOAN DRAKE

Fruit ice, sometimes called glace , is a frozen mixture of fruit juice, sugar and water. Sorbet is similar but may contain egg white, milk or cream. Granita differs in that it's frozen without stirring, then scraped into crystals before being served.

Ices are cooling hot weather desserts or excellent palate cleansers between courses of an elaborate meal. They are particularly attractive when served in fruit shells, such as hollowed-out lemons.

To make the cups, cut off approximately one-quarter from an end of each lemon. Ream the juice from both portions, using either a hand juicer (Step 1) or an electric juicer. With a grapefruit spoon, scrape out the remaining crushed pulp and membranes from the inside of the shells (Step 2).

Next, cut a thin slice from the bottom of each larger section so it stands erect (Step 3). Place the finished shells and lids in a plastic food bag, seal and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to fill.

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The fruit ice is made with a sugar syrup base; however, it's important not to use too much sweetener or the ice will not freeze. No more than one part sugar should be added to four parts liquid.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and boil five minutes without stirring to avoid crystallization.

You can add a subtle mint flavor by placing the chopped herb in a strainer and pouring the sugar syrup through it into a medium bowl. For a more pronounced mint flavor, pour the mixture over the mint leaves in a bowl (Step 4) and allow it to steep two to three minutes before straining back into the cooking pan.

At this point, the syrup should be covered and thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator, several hours or overnight. The colder the mixture, the quicker it will freeze.

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To still-freeze the mixture, pour into a 13x9-inch baking pan and place in the freezer. Stir after a half hour, as the mixture begins to freeze around the edges.

Following another half hour in the freezer, remove the pan and beat the slushy mixture with an electric mixer (Step 5). Repeat beating twice more after half hour intervals to reduce the size of the ice crystals and to give the ice a fluffy consistency.

Spoon the finished ice into lemon cups (Step 6) and freeze until firm. Transfer to the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh mint.

LEMON-MINT ICE

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 cup sugar

4 cups water

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon cups, optional

Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Combine lemon zest and sugar in 3-quart saucepan. Add water. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Bring mixture to boil. Cover, reduce heat and boil 5 minutes without stirring to avoid crystallization.

Place chopped mint in strainer. Pour sugar syrup through mint into medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate mixture until well chilled.

Stir lemon juice into sugar syrup. Pour into 13x9-inch baking pan and place in freezer. Stir after 1/2 hour, as mixture begins to freeze around edges.

Following another 1/2 hour in freezer, remove pan and beat slushy mixture with electric mixer. Repeat beating twice more after 1/2-hour intervals to give ice fluffy consistency.

Spoon finished ice into freezer container and freeze until firm. Transfer to refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with sprig of fresh mint. Makes about 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

102 calories; 0 sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0 fiber.

\o7 Note\f7 : For more pronounced mint flavor, pour sugar syrup over mint in bowl, allow to steep 2 to 3 minutes, then strain. Mixture may be churn-frozen in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

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