Ones givré and take quip notices that our french chums have taken the time to give a name to this humble ‘sorbet-minded’ activity. Supported by a hapless wander through my culinary tomes, the definition of “Givré” is ‘lined with sorbet’. Monsieur’s Pellaprat et Larousse most thoroughly concur, don’t cha know?
This is my take on Givré, adding a decent splash of Gin to an embarrassingly simple grapefruity mix. The gin is just for culinary purposes you understand it can be omitted…… (as if )?
A recent spike of warm weather inspires some dillusory thoughts. So taking a crack at a bit of preparedness makes sense? A little endeavour taken now will pay future dividends? I, therefore, resign to make some compact and bijou puds to call upon for an ’emergency game of frozen fruit boules’, or to simply reap future ‘just desserts’.
Then by some weird quirk of fate, in my kitchen, I happen upon a simpering basket of citrus. Lurking luscious red grapefruit, a couple of mellow yellow, lamenting limes, a few feebly blushed blood oranges, as well as the usual suspects.
Now contemplative at the prospect of the nose wrinkling, fresh, citric frosty-ice tang and their intricate, glinting self embellishment. I further self convince that this doesn’t have to be a slog either.
Joyfully destructive times are had emptying the shells, simply cleave away to the bitter pith, use a serrated knife or spoon, it takes a little effort to coax way the flesh. Working over a sieve assembly so as to harvest as much of the juice as possible, and do add some zest since you won’t need all the skins. I mantra that such endeavour will be repaid a thousandfold to further convince, as into the freezer they go. Just separate with some non stick film in-between.
My ramshackle attitude combines a little store-bought trickery. The fastidious can easily make a 50:50 sugar and water stock syrup but I used store-bought, the type as used in cocktails and by coffee baristers alike. It’s the inclusion of glucose syrup (from the baking rather than the booze section of supermarkets) which works to stop a rigid set, as, indeed, does the alcohol.
Incidentally a decent whack of vodka works if gin is not your thing. By very rough proportion: to three cups of fresh grapefruit juice, add between one and two cups of sugar syrup, (taste taste taste), a miserly dessert spoon or two of liquid glucose, a teeny tiny pinch of salt and a very decent splash (about 3 dessert spoons) of Gin worked really well. I used Henricks as I love the botanical taste combined with the fresh grapefruit juice. A few drops of Angostura bitters or Campari can also add another layer of botanical sharpness if you happen to have some about your person?
The fragrant juicy mix is then poured into ice cubes trays. Once set, whizz these in a food processor, a handy technique if you don’t have an ice cream machine. The old scratch and scrape method also works, just turn over the setting crystals back into the mush, incorporating as much air into the mixture as possible as this avoids a rigid set. Minimalists can set the juice on a flat tray and subsequently place the frozen shards into a strong poly bag and bash the living daylights out of it to achieve a similar effect.. (Zen but from a totally different Tang dynasty).
Refilling the empty yellow, leathery chasmic shells also makes citric sense, particularly once they are hollowed, frozen and a tad more sturdy. Such outers become nifty serving vessels for our troubles. Though hardly innovative, nonetheless envisaged as a spankingly good pud. Cover and store in the freezer until required.
By design, the meticulously composed, tongue-tingling acrobatics meet contemporary dance whilst wearing a floaty- wafty-chiffon of flavour. Wether you’re wearing your best togs or scruffy gardening garb, posh or sloth these are wondrously fresh and fab. I daydream of them stacked in a chilled glass bowl strewn with fresh flowers and leaves as a ‘no brainer’ ‘no cook’ centre piece pud for visiting friends to share during a warm summer BBQ supper. All we need now is a warm summers evening?
Ok, maybe a tad preemptive… but pizzazz to the pimped pamplemousse none the less.