Rhubarb Sorbet

This may be the best rhubarb recipe yet.  And the timing couldn't be better: the weather has definitely taken a turn towards summer, with the temperatures even flirting with 90 last weekend.  These are the kind of days that almost require a little frozen treat, especially after a hard night's work in the garden.  
The evening work in my garden continues to include a healthy rhubarb harvest.  The plants have recovered nicely from the storm damage several weeks ago, and are sending up a steady supply of new stalks.  I know that I should probably start freezing a few bags of rhubarb to stock the freezer, but we're still early in the growing season and the idea of not taking advantage the abundance of fresh rhubarb just doesn't feel right yet.  But hey, this is a frozen rhubarb recipe, so I am moving in the right direction!

This rhubarb sorbet is the perfect complement to a warm summer-like day.   It is fresh,seasonal, and bright with flavor and color; it makes the intense anticipation for fresh-from-the-garden summer berries and melon just a little more bearable.  The flavor is rich and the texture is velvety smooth, so even just a spoonful feels decadent and indulgent.  It is best savored on your back step, soaking in the satisfaction of a freshly cut lawn  or a just weeded garden.
The original recipe is quite sweet.  I found myself craving just a little more of that citrus-like tartness that makes me love rhubarb so much, so I might try to cut the sugar amount slightly in my next batch.  You could also reduce the sugar content by using another alcohol in place of the sweetened liqueur, if you chose to add it. It might be tempting to reduce or eliminate the corn syrup as well, but just know that the corn syrup is what really makes the texture so silky smooth.  On the other hand, if you have a true sweet tooth, you won't be disappointed by the fully loaded recipe below.  One final note: the directions I include here do not require an ice cream maker, but if you have one, you could certainly use it, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Rhubarb Sorbet
2 lbs rhubarb (this was around 6 cups for me)
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons rhubarb liqueur (optional)

Dice rhubarb and combine with sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan.  Set aside and let the rhubarb macerate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After the 30 minutes are up, heat rhubarb over low heat for about 15 - 20 minutes to release the juices, then turn up the heat to medium and cook for an additional  10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft.  Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until mixture is entirely smooth and allow to cool.  Optional: stir in a couple of tablespoons of rhubarb liqueur to keep the sorbet from freezing solid.

Transfer the mixture to an air-tight freezer-safe container and freeze.  Depending on how hard it freezes, you may need to let it sit out for a while before serving.

Recipe Adapted from Gourmet

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