Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lychee Season

I'm not much of a fruit person. Often, I prefer my fruit cooked rather than fresh and raw. For instance, I'd happily dig into banana cake or banana fritters; and I love a good apple pie or tarte tartin. But you won't soon find me eating a fresh apple or a banana straight from its comb. There are, however, certain fruits that I make exceptions for.

While this is one of those months where everything culminates into workdays and weeks that never seem to end—hence the long stretches between posts (my apologies to those who've been checking in only to find me MIA)—there are still a few little luxuries that I am thankful for. One of which is lychee and mango season, which kicked in about two weeks ago. These are probably the only two kinds of fruit that I eat and eat lots of, and given that my long workdays also mean my diet is completely out of whack (which means I eat anything that can be bought at a hawker stall), the arrival of these fruit at every fruit stand, stall and supermarket is a very good thing.

Few fruit have such sweet, juicy flesh that, when eaten straight from the refrigerator needs nothing more than a damp napkin too wipe the juices off your chin and elbows. It's not often that you find a ripe but sour mango or lychee. At least it's never happened to me before. However, it's not impossible to find yourself with a ripe mango that's relatively tasteless, or worse, lychees that are short on sucrose. Which is exactly what happened to me last weekend, when I picked up a kilo of plump red-shelled lychees from my fruit seller. When I got home and excitedly sat down to a bowl of them in front of the TV, I was disappointed to find that one after the other, the lychees were just short of tasteless, as if someone had forgotton to inject them with their requisite dose of syrupy sweetness.

What to do? Well, if, like me, you've just gotten a new ice-cream maker, you shell and seed the lychees, liquidise them, add water and syrup, and make sorbet. I adapted the recipe for Lime Sorbet in Frozen Desserts by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir and used the same proportions with my bum lychees.

The results were fab, but I still couldn't get my mind off the thought of biting into fresh, juicy lychees. So out I went again to the fruit seller, who brought out a more expensive batch, which she said was imported from China. I was skeptical at first because of its green hue (which I thought meant they hadn't ripened and would be tart), but she shelled one and literally force-fed it to me. And I was sold. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a whole basket of lychees and some episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives that I need to catch up on.


Blogger Chubby Hubby said...

Fantastic. S and I find that a bit of kaffir lime spruces up lychee sorbet. My favourite way of enjoying a good lychee sorbet is to put a scoop in a rocks glass and then top it with Champagne. Frozen lychee bellini :-) We've served this several times and it's always been a hit. You should try it.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Joycelyn said...

ooh, yum! that looks so awesome - i've been wanting to make an "ispahan" sundae with scoops of rose, raspberry, and lychee sorbet, but as you well and intimately know, the realities of life have been getting in the way ;p

7:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've only ever tried lychee once and that was quite a few years ago. This looks delicious!

9:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I think it looks wonderful! I love lychees and making sorbet out of them is a great idea!

6:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful pix, Eggy!

i am waiting for my fruit supplier to decree that lychees are at their peak of sweetness before i make lychee sorbet :) he has also promised to get me special japanese peaches that aren't otherwise available in s'pore. i imagine peach sorbet with sparkling sake will be yum.

2:54 pm  
Blogger Jen said...

lychees are one of my favourites too. You're sorbet looks delicious!

10:07 pm  
Blogger shaz said...

I once made lychee sorbet with vodka. Goof for alcoholic frens

11:20 pm  
Blogger Nicholas said...

It looks really great. Oooh, I can just taste one now in Singapore's constant heat wave.

8:52 pm  
Blogger *kel said...

ah-ha! that's what you were trying to tell me about when I wrote about Crema Catalana. I wish it's non-perishable, i'd get myself a case - yum la cuajada! ;)


12:46 am  
Blogger Andreea said...

lychees are not that popular here - but your recipe encourages me to go to a specialized shop to get some and try the sorbet out.

4:40 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

We just got some really fat juicy lychees the other day... it's true that with lychees, you really don't need anything done to them! Just peel and enjoy... mmm... so addictive too...

7:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only lychee "nut" out there...I've been obssessed ever since my trip to Thailand...I have bucketfuls of the fruit, as well as yummy lychee ice cream from Chinatown (in NY) and several bottles of Lichido Liquor(which keeps me and my friends nice and buzzed year-round)

9:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi it realy does look delicious i life in africa. And we have a lychee tree in our back garden. So i can have one as soon as its ready. definetly gonna try lychee sorbet thanks

11:04 pm  

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