Wow, my last Ice Cream Sunday post was back in September: Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Chunk Ice Cream. Guess between getting back to teaching and all the holiday baking, churning up batches of ice-cold treats took a back burner.
Well, a new batch is in store for you today. This one relates to Christmas day. While washing the mega pile of dishes after Christmas dinner at my parent’s house, I could feel the sniffles coming on. At least sickness decided to grace me with its presence at the end of the day rather than spoil my entire day.
During the ensuing 3-4 days of lethargy, I managed to slowly work my way through the three cookbooks hubby gave me for the holidays, each of which had lived on my wish list for many months.
Which one to make a recipe from first? Oh, the decisions!
I excitedly (well, as excited as one can be with the pressure from a sinus infection) turned the pages of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. (We had visited one of her shops in Columbus, Ohio a couple of summers ago, and I’ve been yearning for her book ever since.) With each successive recipe, my eyes grew bigger and bigger at the many unique and luscious flavor combos to try. Close to the end of her book, though, a sorbet titled Influenza RX jumped out at me, and I knew it would be the first of the many ice creams I would try.
With my head bursting from swollen sinuses and my throat sore from the nasal drip, this sounded like a fun and tasty way to heal the illness.
In her book, she includes anecdotes and background stories for the ice creams. This particular sorbet resulted from her memories of a cold remedy from her childhood: a cup of whiskey mixed with lemon and honey. Sounds similar to an experience from my childhood.
In my youth, I would sometimes get colds that would quickly travel into my respiratory system and knock me out for several days. One time it turned into an upper respiratory infection in 7th grade that knocked me out for several weeks and even got me out of P.E. class for several more weeks. During this illness, every morning my father would whip me up a mug of beaten eggs, sugar, and a dash or two of whiskey. It actually tasted pretty good. The thought of raw eggs grossed me out and I was shocked he would give me alcohol, but his method created a light and airy concoction that truly warmed up my lungs. My dad felt it would help heal me and put some weight back on my frail frame, both of which it accomplished.
I particularly love Jeni’s story of how during flu and cold season, her shops keep pints of this sorbet on hand to give to customers who are sniffling or who mention little ones at home who are sick. What a kind gesture.
So, this is the first of many of her recipes I intend to try. The unusual combo here involves tang plus kick. Citrus gives a tang I love while honey balances that out with some sweetness. Bourbon is optional; if I’d had any, I would have included it.
Now for the kick part: the tiny bit of cayenne pepper and ginger give quite a kick!
Kick plus citrus–unusual combo but it works.
The kick helps clear the nasal passages while the citrus provides vitamin C. The honey and liquid pectin bring moisture to dry throats. And the frozen part? Well, it soothes inflammation of the throat.
All in all, sounds like a heck of a tasty remedy to me. Far better than yucky cold and congestion tablets that make my heart race a million miles a minute or disgusting cough medicine that takes forceful willpower to swallow, right?
If you own an ice cream maker, whip this up during cold and flu season so when the dreaded bug strikes, you’ll be prepared!
Influenza RX Sorbet
- 2 cups fresh orange juice (from 5-6 oranges)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
- one 3-ounce packet liquid pectin (found on baking aisle at grocery store)
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 2-4 tbsp. bourbon (optional)
- Combine the orange and lemon juices, sugar, honey, and ginger in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
- Add the pectin, cayenne, and bourbon. Pour into a bowl; cover and refrigerate until cold.
- Using your ice cream maker, freeze until the sorbet is the consistency of very softly whipped cream. Pack into an airtight storage container; press a sheet of parchment paper against the surface before sealing with lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.