Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Plum Sorbet Sandwiched Between Ginger Molasses Cookies

Summer has arrived, bringing along mobs of tourists, those who have escaped the heat in Arizona to enjoy their second homes here, and, specifically this past weekend, thousands of other San Diegans who simply love our village and beaches, Fourth of July Parade, and fireworks vantage points. If you live in Coronado this time of year, leave the car at home and walk or bike to your destination.

Trapper wasn't overly enthused when we adorned him with an extra bunting for his morning walk to Starbucks, but he amused those who were out at the crack of dawn snatching up the prime parade spots.

Following coffee, we deposited the pup back into the safety of his yard and set off to Pete and Julie's annual Pre-Parade Bloody Mary Breakfast. This year's parade theme was America's People. Here are a few photos...the full album is posted on Newf in My Soup's Facebook page.

The parade was followed by more cocktails, of course, and wonderful food at Jim and Carmen's Post-Parade Open House - pork chile verde, spicy beans and rice, guacamole and chips, and banana pudding. Then it was time for a long afternoon nap, in order to refresh for the evening festivities.

Over the weekend, I finally got around to making these Plum Sorbet Sandwiches with Molasses Cookies, a recipe that had called out to me every time I flipped through Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I have loved the few recipes I've tried from Suzanne Goin's, James Beard award-winning, cookbook and really do need to cook from it more often! It has about 130 recipes, arranged into 32, three-course menus (4 courses with dessert), and organized by season. This dessert is included in the summer chapter, menu 9, designed to be served following green goddess salad with romaine, cucumbers, and avocado; soft-shell crabs with lima bean salad, grilled bacon, and cornbread; and veal scaloppine with fresh corn polenta and salsa verde-brown butter.  If you enjoy throwing intimate, gourmet dinner parties, this should be one of your go-to cookbooks.

Plum Sorbet Sandwiches with Mary Jones from Cleveland's Molasses Cookies
From Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
(Makes 1 quart)

1 pound ripe plums
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 lemon, for juicing
Molasses cookies (recipe follows)

Cut the plums in half, remove the pits, and cut the halves in quarters.

Toss the plums with the sugar and honey, and let sit for 30 minutes. Transfer the fruit to a blender, and puree until very smooth. Season with lemon juice, to taste.

Chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Process the puree in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions (about 20 minutes).

To make each plum sorbet sandwich, scoop about 1/4 cup of the sorbet and place it on the bottom side of one of the cookies. Then place the bottom side of a second cookie over the ice cream and gently press to make a sandwich. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

Mary Jones from Cleveland's Molasses Cookies
(Makes about 24 cookies)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted to equal 1/2 cup, cooled
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Stir in the salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the molasses, sugar, melted shortening, and egg at medium speed for 3 minutes.

Turn off the mixer and add half the dry ingredients to the bowl. Turn the mixer to medium-low and mix to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix to combine. Chill the dough for about 15 minutes to make it easier to work with.

On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out the cookies. Place them on a parchment-lined or lightly buttered baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle a little sugar over the tops of the cookies, and bake about 12 minutes, until they puff up slightly and are starting to crack in the middle. The cookies will be crisp on the outside and chewy in the center.

Newf Notes: Chef Goin uses Santa Rosa Plums which may be difficult to find outside of a few California Farmers' Markets. I substituted "Raspberry" pluots. I may have over-baked the cookies, waiting for them to start to "crack" in the middle. They were more like gingersnaps, and lost all chewiness. However, they did soften up a bit after the sandwiches were assembled and stored in the freezer. The sorbet was pretty soft just following churning, so you may want to allow it to firm up overnight in the freezer before assembling the cookies. 

You can also skip the sandwiching step and serve the sorbet in bowls with the cookies on the side.

"Few chefs in America have won more acclaim than Suzanne Goin, owner of Lucques restaurant. A chef of impeccable pedigree, she got her start cooking at some of the best restaurants in the world–L’Arp├Ęge. Olives, and Chez Panisse, to name a few–places where she acquired top-notch skills to match her already flawless culinary instincts. “A great many cooks have come through the kitchen at Chez Panisse,” observes the legendary Alice Waters, “But Suzanne Goin was a stand-out. We all knew immediately that one day she would have a restaurant of her own, and that other cooks would be coming to her for kitchen wisdom and a warm welcome.”

And come they have, in droves. Since opening her L.A. restaurant, Lucques, in 1998, Goin’s cooking has garnered extraordinary accolades. Lucques is now recognized as one of the best restaurants in the country, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented chefs around. Goin’s gospel is her commitment to the freshest ingredients available; her way of combining those ingredients in novel but impeccably appropriate ways continues to awe those who dine at her restaurant. 

Her Sunday Supper menus at Lucques–ever changing and always tied to the produce of the season–have drawn raves from all quarters: critics, fellow chefs, and Lucques’s devoted clientele. Now, in her long-awaited cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Goin offers the general public, for the first time, the menus that have made her famous." 


Ann Mah said...

What an inspiring (and beautiful!) combination!

Mom said...

Gorgeous color and what a delightful burst of Summer’s sweet plum flavors. Thanks for the yummy treat!

Anonymous said...

Charming little beauties! Thanks, Denise!