Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve.  We had a low-key night with good friends, and it was the perfect way to ring in 2011.  To get things off on a festive note, I thought it would be fun to share a recipe today that incorporated that bubbly beverage so many of us were probably drinking when the clock struck midnight – champagne!

This pineapple champagne sorbet wasn’t in the original plans (we won’t talk about the strawberry champagne cupcakes I had such high hopes for that were a total flop) but this is probably one instance where plan B should have been plan A anyway.  It’s January, and maybe after a very rich December you’re looking for a dessert that’s a little less heavy.  If so, this sorbet definitely fits the bill.  It’s light, refreshing and sweet – pure pineapple goodness.  On the first day I churned it, I could definitely taste the champagne but on day 2 I thought the flavor was more muted.  The champagne does have another important job, though – it keeps the sorbet from freezing rock hard.  Immediately after churning, and even with a few hours in the freezer, the sorbet was fairly soft.  Nearly 24 hours later, it had hardened some; the texture reminded me of Italian Ice, which was a very good thing in my book. 


One final note – You only need 3 ingredients to make the sorbet, and if you can’t find fresh pineapple in the store right now, don’t worry: canned pineapple works too.  I used it for mine this time, though I will certainly make it again when ripe, juicy pineapples are plentiful and I’m sure it’ll be even more delicious.

Pineapple Champagne Sorbet
from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored (2 cups or 500 mL of puree)
6 tablespoons (75 g) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) champagne or sparkling wine

Cut the pineapple into chunks and add it to your blender along with the sugar.  Puree until smooth.  Stir in the champagne.

Alternatively, if you want to use canned pineapple: Make sure you use unsweetened pineapple canned only in its own juice, not in syrup.  Add the pineapple and the juice to your blender, and puree until smooth, then measure out the 2 cups of puree called for in the recipe and continue.  {Note: I used a 20 oz can of pineapple chunks and wound up with about 3 cups of puree total.}   Blend the pineapple puree and the sugar until smooth and then stir in the champagne.

Chill the mixture thoroughly (overnight is good) then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least a few hours before serving.

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