Biking Adventures, NYC + Concord Grape Sorbet

19 Sep

Yesterday I went on a bike ride to the tip top of Manhattan along the West Side Highway bike path. With the Hudson River at my side and the beautiful greenery protecting me from the raging NYC traffic, everything should have been perfect…but alas, I am a first class WIMP.

Why is it that if I have not ridden a bike in just 2 months that I start getting the shakes and the shivers at the thought of going up and down a hill, switching gears, stopping. Oh, stopping on my bike. It should be so easy. I like to think that I am a graceful lady, but on a bicycle I seem to lose all my balance and dignity. And there I was, walking my bike down the tiniest hill because I am too afraid to take the plunge.

I only fell once, and for that I am proud, and I got right back up and continued biking after my minor fall. I did not even realize that I scratched my hand until I saw the blood marks on the handle bars. Eh, no big deal.

In the end, it was a nice ride and I became more confident as the ride continued. Eventually, I was even able to stop and slowly hop off the bike in a graceful way. My reward for making it up to the top of Manhattan was eating at the taco stand inside one of the parks there. Seriously good homemade flour tortillas.

Hopefully come next week, I’ll be a biking pro.

There was no better way to quench my thirst after that bike ride than to have a spoon of homemade concord grape sorbet, right out of the container.

Concord grapes are all over the place right now. I also love the variety called “Jupiter” because they have no seeds. These grapes taste like they were made for wine, for jam, for sodas, for SORBET.

I cooked my grapes down with a touch of water until they started to pop and release their juices.

The grapes got pureed in my blender. I added a little bit of homemade simple syrup to them. Chilled everything and then spun it in my ice cream maker.

I usually think of myself as an ice cream person rather than a sorbet person. But this summer I have realized how refreshing sorbet can be when you have really flavorful fruit. Plus sorbet is SO much easier to make than ice cream because it is literally fruit and simple syrup or sugar. And the colors that your sorbet can be–bright orange (mango, melon…), lipstick red (strawberry, cherry…), deep fuchsia (raspberry, blackberry, concord grape…)…oh so fabulous!

Concord Grape Sorbet

from The Kitchen Sink

1 1/2 pounds Concord grapes (about 1 quart container)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup Simple Syrup

Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Combine grapes and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid begins to bubble and grapes start releasing liquid, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat, and simmer until juices are dark purple and grapes begin to break apart, about 3 minutes.

Puree the mixture with a food mill, an immersion blender, a blender, or a food processor (I used a blender). Then pass it through a fine sieve into a large bowl set in the ice bath; stir frequently until completely cool. Stir in simple syrup.

Transfer mixture to an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

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