Thursday, January 8, 2015

Home-Made Tamarind Sorbet


My cousin Ngoc loves to cook and she always wanted to learn how to make ice cream. I finally got a chance to show her how she can make it from home. Ice cream is not a treat that most people in Vietnam have stored in their freezer at all times. It is a rare luxury for most people I know. Specialty ice cream shops will have ice cream but usually sold in small containers. As a young child growing up in Nga Ba An Trach (about 3 miles from Soctrang) it was really a special treat to be taken on a motorcycle to Soctrang after dinner for ice cream. Of course back then and even to this day the ice cream sold in that city are from the smallest scoop imaginable. All I can say is that the amount of ice cream is so small that you cannot blame the Vietnamese ice cream for making you fat!

I have never made tamarind ice cream and I have never heard of anyone making it. Tamarind is usually sour almost like lime. However, some variety of tamarind can be somewhat on the sweeter side especially those from Thailand. Here is an ice cream made from the regular sour tasting tamarind. My cousin Sieu Hui told me that this recipe is not as sweet and her children do not like it. I am glad she told me so I can add this to my blog. I just ate 3 scoops of this and I found it to be just right. For me I find it has a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. Definitely feel free to adjust the sweetness in this recipe when you make it. I have to admit I felt a twinge of guilt as I indulged in my sorbet in the tropical heat (here in Vietnam) when I know my husband, family and friends in the New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts are suffering from extremely cold weather at the moment. I just saw the current forecast for today (1/7/15, seacoast, New Hampshire, United States) and it's negative 8 Fahrenheit (negative 22 Celsius). 

a tamarind pod on tree
tamarind pods and leaves
Tamarind Juice (makes about 3/4 cup)

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water
1/4 cup tamarind pulp/seeds

Method:

Add water to the tamarind pulp/seeds. Take a spoon and extract the pulp/seeds to render juice.
Strain for juice and save. Reserve the left over pulp and seeds to make drinks or sauce or discard.


Home-Made Tamarind Sorbet

Ingredients:

3/4 cup tamarind juice
1/2 cup sugar (or more according to your taste)
440 mL of milk (a little shy of 2 cups but you can use 2 cups of milk for this recipe)

Method:

1) Heat a small pot over medium heat. Add tamarind juice and sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved add milk and stir. Strain in a container and refrigerated or put in freezer to chill.
2) Once the mixture is chilled pour into an ice cream maker for 30 minutes or as follow by the manufacturer's instructions.
3) Pour the ice cream in a container and place in freezer until firm.

*In Vietnam my cousin buys milk in a bag kept at room temperature. Each of the bags that we used for this sorbet was 220 mL. We used 2 bags.

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