06 July 2017

Raspberry / Cassis Sorbet

As every summer our soft-fruit bushes are producing a bumper crop of berries. Apart from freezing them whole or their pulp to mix into yoghurt, to make a coulis or a desert in winter one delicious way of using them up are sorbets. The following recipe can be done with any soft fruit, but it calls for a bit of flexibility with the sugar syrup and the optional ingredients. Alcohol inhibits freezing and prevents large ice-crystals from forming as does frequent stirring during the freezing process. However, if you want a “granita” you stir less and once the mix is hard, you shave it into the serving dishes.
If you heat the fruit first (without water) or not is a matter of preference with little impact on the flavour, but with tough-skinned fruit like black currants the extraction of the pulp is easier.

What you need

  • 500g fruit pulp (I put this through the smoothie extractor, but any food mill that retains the pips will do)
  • 150 – 200 g sugar (blackcurrants / cassis are rather tart, so you may increase this amount)
  • 250 ml water
  • optional for raspberry sorbet:  grated zest and juice of half a lemon
  • optional for cassis sorbet: 100 – 200 ml Crème de Cassis liquer (easy to make, see here); reduce the amount of water by the amount of booze...

What you do

  1. To pulp the fruit use a smoothie maker or a food mill to ensure that pips and skins (cassis) are left behind.
  2. Boil the sugar and the water for about 4 minutes into a syrup, leave to cool a bit and mix into the pulp.
  3. Add the optional ingredients, the lemon juice and zest for the raspberry, the  Crème de Cassis for the cassis sorbet.
  4. Precool either in the fridge or in the deepfreeze.
  5. Put in an ice-cream maker, which stirs the mixture and prevents large ice crystals from forming.   
  6.  If you haven’t got an ice-cream maker, put the sorbet mixture into the deepfreeze; about every 2 hours use a hand-mixer to keep stirring the increasingly slushy mixture until it is formable with a spoon or a spatula. At this stage it would be ready to serve.

You may freeze it for later, but put it into the fridge at least an hour before serving to allow it to soften. Serve with a sprig of peppermint and a drop of corresponding eau-de-vie or liquer.