Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paw Paw Ice Cream or Concord Grape Sorbet...One Difficult Decision

This week's Millie's Homemade ice cream CSA presented we fortunate subscribers with a choice: a pint of native Western PA paw paw ice cream or harvest fresh concord grape sorbet? Tough decision, right? I love choices where there are no wrong answers. I chose paw paw. 

Why? Because I've been dying to try paw paws for many years. From the time we moved into our house in the North Hills 28 years ago, all those fruit tree catalogs tempted me with descriptions of the exotic sounding fruit tree. The fruits look like a large mango with a flavor description of a banana crossed with citrus. Described as having a custardy texture, I SO wanted to try them. 

The trees themselves were unlike any local tree I'd ever cool and tropical looking! Somehow I never got around to ordering a pair. Yet another gardening regret in hindsight as paw paws have become the darling of the fall fresh and local scene. Blew that one!

I was tickled to see the last Cure'ated dinner (at Cure in Lawrenceville with Chef Brian Voltaggio of Volt in Frederick, MD (and of Top Chef fame)) used paw paws in every course. (I was first on the waiting list for this dinner if someone cancelled. They didn't. Damn.) And now, I was being offered paw paw ice cream delivered directly to my door? Yes, please.

Now that I had a pint of my dream paw paw ice cream in my hot little hands, would I be disappointed after years of imagining the exotic, yet local, fruit's flavor? Not on your life. It was everything I'd imagined and more! Just a hint of banana with a subtle melon nuance and a smidge of pineapple in the forefront delighted my tastebuds. THIS is ice cream to savor!

And you know what? When Lauren delivered my pint to the door, I was lucky enough to be gifted a bonus pint of Concord Grape sorbet, too. I hit the ice cream lottery! 

One taste of this intensely grape-y sorbet had me imagining a tall glass of gin and tonic with a big scoop - or TWO - of this gorgeous deep purple grape sorbet bobbing in a bubbly tall glass. So that's exactly what we enjoyed last evening. Ahhhhhhhh...a perfect purple-y adult float. Cheers to Millie! And her homemade chilly delights.

Millie's Concord Grape Gin & Tonic Float

Serves 1

  • 1 1/2 oz.  Bluecoat gin
  • 2 nice big scoops of Millie's Homemade Concord Grape Sorbet (or another brand if you can't get your hands on Millie's - I bet blackberry would be pretty amazing, too!)
  • Fever Tree Naturally Light Indian Tonic Water (or regular, not light) - enough to fill the glass

In a nice tall glass, add the gin and a little tonic. Mix. Add hefty scoops of sorbet and pour enough tonic to fill the glass. Gently stir and serve with a straw. (I love my metal spoon straws...dual purpose!)

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