What’s Cooking: Peach Sorbet & Almond Butter


I’m always ridiculously pleased when I invent a new recipe, especially one that’s relatively simple and turns out to be delicious. 


Here are two, one using summer’s ripe peaches, and the other using almonds to make a less-expensive alternative to one of my staple proteins: almond butter.  


The peaches from Colorado’s West Slope are ripe and abundant right now, and this year’s crop may be the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. Hence this recipe, a non-dairy, gluten-free sorbet using juicy, ripe peaches. 


Peaches Drink Wine Sorbet

(Adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine from 1998!)


4 cups ripe and chilled organic peaches, peeled, and cut into eighths

1 T lime juice

2 T lemon juice

2/3 cup white wine (anything you have left over is fine)

1-2 T brandy or port

about 3 T sugar


Rinse, slice and peel the peaches (ripe peaches peel easily, especially if they’re chilled). Put them in a food processor (if you’re using a blender, you’ll need to split them in 2 or 3 smaller batches) and mix in lime and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, then add white wine, brandy and sugar to taste. Process until blended. Pour puree into an ice cream maker (make sure it’ll handle a quart) and freeze until sorbet is firm enough to scoop. Makes a quart of summer-delicious sorbet! 



Leftover sorbet frozen in a re-used gelato jar… 


Note: I usually serve this directly from the ice cream maker. If you need to freeze it first, take it out before serving and thaw until soft enough to re-blend with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula. Then serve immediately. Also, if you have leftover peach slices, sprinkle them with Fruit Fresh (a citric-acid-based natural preservative that keeps them from turning brown), and a little sugar, stir, and put them in freezer bags or containers. They’ll give you a sweet taste of summer sun come winter.


****


As a kid, I loved peanut butter, the chunkier the better. As an adult, I’ve migrated away from peanuts after a bad reaction to a bag of airline peanuts a few years back. 


Almond butter is my nut butter of choice these days, but not the kind in a jar with various additives. I’ve been getting it fresh-ground at Whole Foods. (No additives there, and if you’ve never had nut butter still warm from being ground, you’ve missed the real stuff!) 


But it’s expensive, and the closest Whole Foods is two hours away. So when I saw an article in the Denver Post about making your own nut butters, I was excited. Turns out it’s even simpler than the article makes it seem. (Especially if you have a food processor—mine’s a 35-year-old Cuisinart, and it still does a great job). 



Homemade Almond Butter


1-1/2 cups organic almonds

1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)

about 1 T organic light olive oil or nut oil


Roast the almonds in a 350-degree oven for five to seven minutes (shorter if you like a “lighter” flavor, longer if you like a more roasted flavor). Let the cool, and then place in a food processor. Add salt, and process until the nuts turn to flour and then begin to gather in a ball. Drizzle in olive oil while they’re processing. Continue to process until the butter is the desired consistency. In my machine, it takes more than five minutes to get to chunky and may take another five to get to full creamy butter. 



Almond butter at the chunky stage…


Note: You can use roasted peanuts, cashews and pecans instead of almonds. Each different nut will have a different roasting time.  


Enjoy!

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