April 21, 2009
In my mother's backyard, there is a big, white tent–the kind hired for special occasions, like this one–it's our engagement party. It's a blazing hot July day, but we're out in the heat, anyway, tyring to escape the heat under the tent, sitting at big, round, rented tables and eating off rented glassware.
My mother should have been a caterer, because the spread is fantastic: empanadas (made by a friend's aunt), sandwiches, salads, pastries from Denver's best Italian bakery. An accordian player wanders through the crowd, dodging kids and guests in a musical two-step.
And finally, dessert–Limonchamp–a classic Argentinean postre made by putting a couple of scoops of delicate lemon sorbet in a champagne glass, and pouring champagne over the top.
I first had it when Guillermo took me to Argentina for the first time to meet his parents. We decided to have a "big night out" in General Alvear (pop. about 20,000–so you see that the concept of big night out is relative!)
We started at an heladeria–an Argentinean ice cream shop, where Guillermo brought out two styrofoam cups of lemon gelato and a bottle of champagne, and we sat at an outside table on the sidewalk having Limonchamp and watching cars cruise the main street. (Including one amazing despidida–bachelorette party–that passed by several times!) I was just excited that they sold Champagne at an ice cream shop, and I had never tasted anything like that–light, bubbly, and lemony–a perfect way to beat the heat that night.
Flash-forward to the future, a few short months later, and we're at my mom's, surrounded by friends, and making a toast, again with Limonchamp. Thanking everyone for being there, we raise our glasses in celebration and add one more surprise with the announcement–we're expecting!
I feels like ancient history now that our son is more than two years old, and it also feel s like yesterday. Limonchamp will always be a favorite spring or summer dessert of mine–it's simple, tasty and refreshing after a large meal. Just perfect to launch yourself toward those hot July days that are right around the corner–so go have some today…
Lemon Sorbet and Champagne
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
juice of 4 lemons
zest of one lemon
In a small saucepan, put the water and sugar, and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Let cool completely, first on the stovetop and then in the refrigerator.
Be sure the bowl of the ice cream maker is good and frozen. Then, process according to the maker's instructions. In about 30 minutes, you should have lemon sorbet! I had to put mine in the freezer for some additional time to make it harder.
Open the Champagne. Place one or two small scoops of the lemon sorbet in the Champagne glass, and gently pour the Champagne over the top. Serve with a small spoon.
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