Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Recipe: Blackberry Sorbet

Creamy, rich on the tongue, and completely delicious! Recently, I came across a copy of Gaston Le Notre's book on ice creams and sorbets - the companion volume to his magnificent and practically exhaustive work on pastry, which I can't recommend too highly for its technical precision. I see from the small print that there was a five year gap between the two books, however, and I suspect the delay was because Le Notre felt slightly embarrassed about presenting a whole collection of recipes the vast bulk of which merely follow the same simple formula: liquidize and sieve the fruit, and then freeze it in an ice cream machine along with sugar syrup to the ratio of 2:1 (twice as much fruit puree as sugar syrup). The syrup itself is made by combining a kilo of sugar with a litre of water, bringing it to the boil, whilst stirring, and then leaving to cool before use (or, half a kilo sugar to half a litre of water...the proportions work, whatever amount of syrup you want to make).
It's as simple as that. And if, as I now do, you keep a quantity of syrup in the fridge ready for use, then the whole process of making a new batch of sorbet whenever you want is remarkably quick and straightforward.

Enough for two generous servings:

Ingredients: Blackberries (about two cups - enough to give you 300 ml of purée, once the fruit has been liquidised and sieved); 150 ml of sugar syrup; a slug of Crème de Cassis (optional, but I think it makes a difference).

1. Liquidise the fruit, then push it through a fine sieve. Add to the purée exactly half as much again sugar syrup (i.e, if you have 300 ml of purée, then add to it 150 ml of syrup; if you have more or less fruit purée than this, then adjust the syrup quantity accordingly).

2. Add to the mixture a generous tablespoon of Cassis. Freeze in an ice cream machine until firm, then leave in the freezer for an hour or so. When you take it out of the freezer, if it is too hard to serve immediately, let it sit in the fridge for twenty minutes or so until it has softened sufficiently to scoop easily.


Kimgalvez said...

but without the ice cream maker....?

Pomiane said...

Well, there is a school of thought that says you can make sorbet by part freezing it in a tray in the freezer, and periodically breaking it up with a fork, until it is completely dense. I doubt the method works very well - probably, you'd end up with a rather crunchy granita rather than a creamy sorbet. Before ice cream machines, there was a hand-churn method ( we had one in Greece, which comprised a large bucket, an ice container, and a churn paddle - it took forever!). I'd advise haunting ebay in search of a good second-hand machine (I got a Gaggia machine on italian ebay for about 80 euros for use in Italy, which in fact is a great deal better than the expensive magimix machine I have in London). Failing, that....without the machine, I'd advise making blackberry mousse instead. Or Blackberry and Apple Pies...