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we need to chill

Recipe: pink grapefruit-champagne sorbet

Where I live is notorious for its winter winds. And by winter, I mean autumn, winter, and spring. Our NOAA forecasts gusts up to 45 mph as “breezy”. Up to 70 mph is “windy” and beyond is finally granted “very windy”. There was a pretty severe wind storm back in mid November… the one that clocked 115 mph at Breckenridge. I never found out what it was in our town, likely exceeding 100. Over the past few months as we’ve hiked, walked, and skied around our local mountains, Jeremy and I have seen evidence of that storm’s passing again and again. Mostly, it’s in the form of windfall: rooted, topped, or split trees. Not just dead trees, but plenty of healthy, large pines.

one of the smaller examples, trailside

It bums me out because I love trees. The wind here can be so oppressive, violent, and depressing. For me, I guess it’s depressing because when it’s “very windy” it usually means changing whatever outdoor plans we had. I’ll curse it more often than not, but it’s also responsible for some amazing atmospheric displays. Sitting just a few miles east of the Continental Divide, we get a lot of orographic clouds overhead.

lenticulars along a huge wave cloud paralleling the rockies

A lot of times, the winds will come when there is a big temperature swing like going from 40°F to 15°F or the other way around. So far, we’ve had some wind but mostly sunshine and warmth. It’s not that I’m unappreciative, but… I’m unappreciative.

the snow is crapping out – we need more pow

Okay, it’s not ALL bad. Had it been our typical single digits the other night, I might not have been as willing to stand outside scoping out the Quadrantids meteor shower in the lonely hours between moonset and sunrise. 20°F is all right by me.


the brightest one of the night (that i saw)

Weather has such an influence over my food moods and this ridiculous (and completely unnecessary) heat wave in Colorado has me downing salads, cold noodles, citrus, and now… sorbet. You’d think it was summer.

all you need is some bubbly, grapefruit, and sugar

juice the grapefruit

We have been buying pink grapefruit by the boatload. It’s in season right now and they are super sweet, juicy, and beautiful. Usually at the start of a favorite fruit season, I’ll consume the fruit as-is. After I get my fill (takes a few weeks), I’ll allow myself to think of other recipes to make with said fruit and this pink grapefruit-champagne sorbet from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop caught my attention.

pouring the bubbles (drink the rest)

measure 1 1/3 cups

Champagne was out of my budget for the sorbet, but a nice California Brut was a pleasant compromise. I didn’t mind sacrificing some of it for the recipe and Jeremy didn’t mind polishing off the rest of the bottle. The ingredient list is short, the process is quick. Sorbet is generally easier to make than ice cream. Personally, I prefer it to ice cream.

pour half of the bubbles into a pan with the sugar

add the rest after the sugar has dissolved

After juicing the grapefruit juice, I strained it to get little seeds and pulp out. I wanted the final product to be as smooth as possible. The alcohol from the bubbly also helps to produce a silky sorbet.

pour the grapefruit juice in and let cool completely

churn in your ice cream machine

It was a warm day and I think my ice cream machine was giving its all to freeze the liquid. There was a slightly melty slush in the container and it wasn’t going to get any colder as the canister’s ice was nearly all water. I transferred the sorbet to the freezer and after several hours it yielded easily to the spoon. I was okay with the sparkling wine on its own, but I really liked it in the sorbet! This is a good time to make a quick batch of your own since grapefruits are in season and there seems to be a good supply of bubbly in stores after the New Year.

a winter-summer treat

Pink Grapefruit-Champagne Sorbet
[print recipe]
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 1/3 cups (330 ml) Champagne or sparkling wine
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed (about 3 grapefruits)

Combine half of the Champagne or sparkling wine with the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and remove from heat. Pour in the rest of the Champagne or sparkling wine and the grapefruit juice. Chill the liquid completely and churn it in your ice cream machine per the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about a quart.

17 nibbles at “we need to chill”

  1. Debbie says:

    I love your pictures of the night sky with all the beautiful stars. How I wish the night sky looked like that here in Virginia! Think I would just stare at it all night long….so beautiful!

  2. Kristin says:

    mmmm…wish I had done more than glance at that display of leftover bubbly on Wednesday.

  3. Scott E says:

    Hey Jen,
    can’t wait to try this recipe…one of my favorite winter treats is that as cold as it gets, it’s beautiful citrus season. Also, if you’re looking for an inexpensive but wonderful brut, try and find Gruet. They’re from New Mexico (I discovered them during summers in Albuquerque) and for about $15 a bottle, very hard to beat. Cheers,

  4. mountain mama cooks says:

    Citrus season and ski season. Does it get any better? Here’s to some big storms head your (and my) way!

  5. Mrs Ergül says:

    What an elegant way to serve sorbet!!

  6. Sindy says:

    I have to share this tip! I made almost and identical Champagne Sorbet last summer but was disappointed that (of course) when you boil the Champagne it takes away the “bubbly”. So after removing the Sorbet from the ice cream maker I placed it in a small cooler with some dry ice and closed it up. After about 30 min the Sorbet will have a fizzy texture. It was so much fun that I made several other “soda” flavors!

    Alternatively you can spoon about a tablespoon of Champagne over the sorbet just before serving. I also did this and then of course more is better so I tried a little more making almost a Champagne float…hiccup…lol

  7. Joy says:

    The recipe is so cool. The granita looks so refreshing.

  8. beti says:

    it looks really refreshing, I’ll sabe the recipe for summer

  9. Cookin Canuck says:

    Those clouds are stunning! We go through pink grapefruits like they’re going out of style. My youngest son and I split one almost every morning for breakfast, eating the pulp and squeezing out every last bit of juice. This sorbet looks like a great way to highlight the sweet flavor.

  10. Bev says:

    Sometimes domestic bubblies are a great substitute and great price. In Canada, I’ve begun enjoying Canadian Baby Bubbly which isn’t Champagne but an excellent substitute. Sweetness level is about a 1. Look for it if you get north of the 49th for a ski trip.

  11. Margie says:

    Big sky, HUGE winds, pretty sorbet.

    Jen, I feel for you whenever I hear about the latest winds. I know of nothing more stressful than those howling sounds and the flying debris.

  12. Berna says:

    Had to go buy an ice cream machine today to try this… Yum!

  13. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence says:

    Mmm, I love anything grapefruit. This recipe looks easy and delicious!

  14. swan says:

    i am so jealous that your stars are so bright and the cloud formations so gorgeous! (but of course, you deserve it!) a most happy new year for you, J and Miss K!

    swan from nor cal

  15. Lily says:

    I’ve spent a good 2 hours clicking on every recipe that reminds me of home, even your pup reminds me of mine back home bahh! Love your recipes, keep it up!

  16. cooking rookie says:

    gorgeous sky pics!

  17. jenyu says:

    Debbie – you need to come west!

    Kristin – ha ha ha! :)

    Scott – hey, thanks for that rec!

    mountain mama cooks – cheers to that, girl!

    Mrs. Ergül – thank you.

    Sindy – thanks for the tip, but not all of the champagne is cooked, so half of it still has bubbles!

    Joy – thanks.

    Beti – it’s good anytime, really :)

    Cookin Canuck – we love pink grapefruit (or any grapefruit)! One of my favorites in winter :)

    Bev – thanks for that rec. I’ll let you know if I do!

    Margie – indeed, it’s stressful, but I think all of the positives outweigh that one really annoying thing!

    Berna – :)

    Brandon – it really is, I think you’ll like it!

    swan – thank you and happy new year to you too!

    Lily – that’s so nice, thank you!

    cooking rookie – thank you :)

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