Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inspiration: Cucumber Mint Icy

With, what feels like, an early summer in our midst, I have been drowning in a sea of iced treat inspiration. I have been wanting to try this one out for awhile because I feel like cucumber and mint are both rather refreshing, cool-you-down ingredients.

I didn't want this to be an ice cream or a sorbet so I played with a few different options; the mold, the Popsicle, and the granita. All three used the same recipe, the only difference was the way it was presented. I call this an "icy" because I was aiming for the crystallized texture that I usually hate having in my other recipes. While I think this flavor combination would work well as a smooth sorbet, when I first came up with the idea I imagined it as a cold, crystallized treat that would take significantly longer to thaw in the summer heat.

Cucumber Mint Icy
4 cucumbers
3 sprigs of fresh mint
4 T agave nectar
1 t tequila

Peel the cucumbers (if desired, reserve a few strips of the skin for garnish). Cut peeled cucumbers in half - the long way - and scoop/discard the seeds using a spoon. Cut into chunks and blend until there are no chunks. Strain the mixture completely (there will still be some pulp on the bottom of the strainer- this is fine to use...you just want to break up the bigger chunks). Chiffonade the mint leaves and add to cucumber liquid. Mix in agave and tequila.

For Popsicle: Add to Popsicle mold and freeze - Don't forget the sticks!
For Mold:
Pour mixture into desired mold and freeze...be sure to let it freeze long enough for the middle to be solid!
For Granita:
Pour into freezer-proof bowl and freeze. Agitate mixture with a fork approximately every 10 minutes until ice crystals are firm.

Julienne strips of cucumber skin and stick in bowl of ice water until they begin to curl. Toss in sugar and place on top of icy!

If you would prefer a sorbet to the harsh iciness of the icy just add another 1/4c. of agave, another 1/2 teaspoon of tequila, and churn in an ice cream maker.

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