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...
- To pulp the fruit use a smoothie maker or a food mill to ensure that pips and skins (cassis) are left behind.
- Boil the sugar and the water for about 4 minutes into a syrup, leave to cool a bit and mix into the pulp.
- Add the optional ingredients, the lemon juice and zest for the raspberry, the Crème de Cassis for the cassis sorbet.
- Precool either in the fridge or in the deepfreeze.
- Put in an ice-cream maker, which stirs the mixture and prevents large ice crystals from forming.
- 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.