The whole idea of incorporating a liqueur or spirit into a sorbet is to enhance the fruit flavors and prevent the liquids from freezing into an ice-block. If you’re not into coconut and just want a banana sorbet with spirit, check out the recipe given below. Banana sorbet is wonderful with rum, Grand Marnier, ginger beer or any number of wines. Add a commercial banana liqueur, available at high-end liquor stores, or your own homemade banana liqueur. Of-course you’ll have to wait the month or longer that it will take to rack and age the homemade liqueur. Actually, making yourown banana liqueur is another great way to use up ripe bananas and the liqueur makes a great foody gift. The recipe below includes a super-easy technique to rack (clarify) the liqueur.
Note that frozen flavors are not as pronounced on the tongue so always taste your sorbet mixture for flavor intensity. Kick up the flavor if needed before churning.
Basic Banana Sorbet with Spirit
- 2 cups mashed ripe banana
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup simple syrup (Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup boiling water then cool.)
- 1/4 cup liqueur or spirit of choice (optional – substitute simple syrup for liqueur)
- Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Process in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours more before serving.
Makes about 3 servings.
Homemade Banana Liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- 3 cups vodka
- Make a simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let stand until just warm.
- Place mashed bananas in clean 1-quart, wide-mouthed jar. Add syrup and vodka. Cover and let stand in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 days, shaking once or twice a day to prevent clumping of fruit.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain out solids. A metal coffee filter works great. Discard the pulp. The liqueur will still be cloudy. Cover and let stand undisturbed until it clears.
- Rack into a clean container; that is, syphon off the clear liqueur. I like to use a turkey baster for this. Cover and age for 1 month. If more sediment settles to the bottom, rack again before serving.
Makes 1 quart.