How sweet it is! 

DIY or on-the-go chill treats for a sweet summer

click to enlarge WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM - surely sherbet There are plenty of ways to stay cool with some DIY chill treats this summer.
  • www.shutterstock.com
  • surely sherbet There are plenty of ways to stay cool with some DIY chill treats this summer.

Hat's off to gorgeous kulfi (Persian for "covered cup"), the traditional ice cream from the Middle East made with dense evaporated milk and flavoured with rose, saffron, cardamom and pistachio. So good, it's also spread to India, Sri Lanka and more corners of South Asia—and, now, even here.

Italy has given us its exquisite gelato. Japan, the wondrous East/West combo, mochi ice cream, plus soft serve that puts our North American one to shame. And don't forget Korean soft serve with yuzu. Yum!

In Turkey, it's that crazy, pliable dondurma, a sweet, sticky miracle as bendy as pizza dough and as cool as it gets. In Israel, it's halvah ice cream, and in Iran, clear, skinny faloodeh noodles made with rose water and served alongside that classic kulfi.

Lucky us in Sea to Sky country! With so many people bringing us cool, sweet treats from cultures around the world, we can pretty much dig into all these delights without generating a single carbon emission from a jet engine. So with summer officially underway, it's time to branch out and dig into the impressive ice treats the world has to offer.

Sure, it's fun to find what you can commercially but, honestly, you don't need an ice cream maker to make your own chill delights at home.

Try these sweet little numbers from the eternally classic Gourmet Cookbook, or go online and find your own cool treats. Either way, you'll find that a lot of these recipes need whipped egg whites much like you're making a meringue, so here are some tips.

Beaten egg whites don't like fats. They won't whip up with even a bit of fat, so make sure your bowl, spoon and egg beater are super-clean, free from any lingering traces of last night's olive oil or butter.

That includes the fat in the yolk, so if you have a hard time separating egg yolks from whites—and who doesn't?—invest $2 into a nice little egg yolk separator at your local hardware or kitchen store. If you get a bit of yolk in your whites, just scoop it out with a spoon before you start whipping.

Also, grandma was right if she taught you that older egg whites whip up easier and achieve more volume than fresher ones.

Knowing Whistler like I do, here are two fab recipes that feature booze along with fresh, healthy fruits for cool, unique, summer hits—local-style.

DIY chill sweet treats

For the margarita fans out there, try this sweet little number made with tequila and lime juice. It's fun to serve in margarita glasses. You can even salt the rims and serve it with a wheel of lime, but eat it with a spoon.

Mexican Tequila Sherbet

Combine 3 cups each of water and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes, remove it from the heat and stir in 1/3 cup each of lime juice from fresh limes (strain it first) and tequila. If you like, add a few drops of green food colouring. When the mixture is cold, stir in 2 egg whites stiffly beaten with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Turn it all into a shallow pan and freeze until firm.

This recipe takes a little effort, but it's worth it. It's also fun because it resurrects an overlooked classic much like that gorgeous '68 silver-blue E-Type Jaguar the Duke and Duchess of Sussex drove off in to one of their many pahties last weekend. The car, by the way, was retrofitted to be electric, and that's what you're doing with this retro liqueur—updating it. Use blue Curaçao as a nod to the cool Jag.

This ice looks gorgeous in a classic sherbet coupe but any stemmed glass will posh things up a bit. If you have the gang over, mix up your stemware for a fun but casual party touch.

While enjoying the fruits of your labour (add winking emoji) you can wax eloquent and inform your pals that Curaçao liqueur is different from Triple Sec and other orange liqueurs because it's made with peels from the Laraha, also known as the Curaçao orange, a citrus tree native to the island of Curaçao, natch. A direct descendent of the bitter or Seville orange used in marmalade, it went wild on the Caribbean island after Spaniards introduced it, evolving into its own, unique, strong variant, much like people who move to Whistler do.

The Laraha is tough, fibrous—and bitter. You can't eat it fresh, but the wonderfully aromatic peels are soaked in alcohol for Curaçao. Djòdjò!

Honeydew Melon Ice with Curaçao

Force the pulp of a large honeydew melon, or any large ripe melon, through a sieve and mix in the juice of 1 large lemon. Make a syrup by boiling 2 cups cold water with 1 cup sugar and a pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Cool the syrup slightly. Add the sieved honeydew pulp and 3/4 cup sherry. Fold in 1 egg white, or 1/2 cup of heavy cream, whipped. Freeze the ice in a shallow tray that will fit in your freezer. I like this ice a bit slushy, not on the hard side. You can also stir it a few times as it freezes so the crystals stay small. Once ready, spoon the ice into your fancy glasses and pour a little Curaçao over it. Garnish with fresh mint or rose geranium leaves.

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning journalist who used to serve Curaçao in San Diego.

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