at last the story can be told

Lemon-Lime Wasabi Sorbet

  1. Add 1.5 cups sugar to 2.0 cups water. Dissolve sugar over low heat, then raise heat until water boils. Boil for about a minute, and then remove from heat, setting aside.

  2. Juice 2 lemons and 2 limes, of good size: you’re aiming for about 3/4 cup of juice total. Add 2 tbsp salted yuzu (japanese citron) juice; set aside.

  3. Optionally: grate the zest from one of the lemons.

  4. In a large bowl, beat 1 egg white until foamy; about 10 seconds.

  5. Slowly add the warm sugar syrup to the egg whites while continuously beating. You’ll get a lot of foam on the top; this is expected.

  6. Add the fruit juice mixture (and zest, if any); continue beating.

  7. Add 1-2 tbsp (to taste) wasabi oil. Beat for about 10 second more. Pour into a glass or plastic jar and refridgerate overnight or at least until cold.

  8. Give the mixture a vigorous shake before freezing to make sure the wasabi oil is still emulsified. Freeze by whatever your favorite method is. Makes about a quart.

Some notes:

The prepared syrup may smell a little bit weird, especially if you’re freezing with LN2, which produces billowing clouds of whatever volatiles are in the mix. Ignore this: the finished product lacks this smell.

To the obvious question: Wasabi sorbet? Are you mad? I have two answers: One, the inspiration for this flavor was a Yuzu-Wasabi sorbet that is served as a between-courses treat on the omakase (tasting) menu at Morimotos in Philadelphia, and so far as I know is the original creation of Masaharu Morimoto, better known as the Iron Chef Japanese, and if you can’t trust him on food, who can you trust? Two, this was recently tested by a discerning group of 110 ice cream freaks, and it won the “best flavor” award running away, with twice as many votes as the nearest competitor. (My doctor informs me that my ego should be returning to normal size within about a week.)

Morimotos served it with a tiny wasabi beignet, which worked perfectly, and should be dead simple to make: just sprinkle a few drops of the wasabi oil into your favorite beignet recipe.

This recipe was originally intended to be a Yuzu-Wasabi sorbet, but the only yuzu juice I could find was heavily salted. If you can locate enough fresh yuzu to make 3/4 cups of yuzu juice, that would be The Best Thing of All: substitute it for the lemon and lime juice, and add a teaspoon of salt.

If you can’t locate wasabi oil, pre-made wasabi paste (the kind in a tube) can be substituted, although you’ll get a slightly odd aftertaste from the other ingredients in it. You’ll want to use about half as much paste as you would of the oil. Do NOT under any cirumstances use “wasabi powder” — in 99.9999% of all cases, there is no actual wasabi in the powder, but instead it will contain dried western horseradish, turmeric and mustard: take my word for it that the flavor this produces is UNSPEAKABLY NASTY.

The base for this recipe is the lemon sorbet recipe from Bruce Weinstein’s “The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.”

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