February 27, 2007

Blueberry Key Lime Sherbet

2 1/4 cups blueberries
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar (if berries are overly tart, add more to taste)
2 tablespoons key lime juice
1 tablespoon key lime zest

Place sugar and blueberries in a medium sized bowl. Mash with a potato masher until until the blueberries are completely mashed, the mixture is thick and the blueberry skins are empty. Drain through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a spoon to get all of the juice/fruit out. Discard leftover skins. Stir in the buttermilk, lime juice and zest. Pour into a ice cream maker and churn until thick and frozen, about 20-30 minutes. Pour into a freezer safe container and freezer overnight. Serve.

My thoughts:

Blueberries were on sale recently and I wanted to do something with them that didn't involve baking. I love blueberry muffins and buckles, but I wanted to do something totally different. Something frozen seemed to be an easy answer. I had never made a sherbet* before before but thought I'd give it a try. Sherbets are generally made with milk, but we had some buttermilk on hand so I thought I'd use that instead and see if it worked. I wasn't sure how buttermilk would freeze, but it actually froze really quickly and didn't separate at all. The results were marvelous, the buttermilk really gives it a tangy richness that really compliments the blueberries. Buttermilk (despite the connotations of the name) is very low in fat so this is actually a quite healthy dessert. I used key limes, and I loved the flavor they brought to the sherbet, but regular (Persian) limes would be a logical substitution.

*I just looked up sherbet to confirm what makes it different from a sorbet (sorbets are made with water and do not contain any sort of dairy product) and it turns out that in the UK, a sherbet is something very different- a sort of fizzy powdered candy. In the US, it is sort of like low fat fruit flavored ice cream that is made with milk instead of cream.