Silky smooth fresh-fruit sorbet is a delight on a hot summer's day and the perfect way to end a summer meal. It also makes a great palate cleanser between courses, a trend that's right back on happening tables.
Sorbets were hugely popular in the 19th and early 20th century when they were served as a palate cleanser between courses.
Then they were referred to as Intermezzo which means "in between the work". We say have them at the ready to serve between courses while you get on with the "work" of finishing the next course.
- Sorbets are water ices and at their best when freshly made, as they lose flavour in the freezer.
- Sorbets must be smooth and velvety, never rock hard, and without a vestige of an ice crystal.
- An electric ice-cream machine makes perfect sorbets. Or use a food processor to beat the sorbet.
- Beat it thoroughly and frequently during freezing - as it turns mushy and solid around the edges - then return it to the freezer. Do so two or three times.
- One or two beaten egg whites folded in after the first beating will prevent ice crystals from forming.
- To serve the sorbet at the right texture, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving.
- Use any fruit to make sorbet by simply stewing, puréeing and straining the fruit. Use 500g of prepared purée to the quantity of sugar syrup in the recipe.
EASY AND DELICIOUS BERRY SORBET
Note: this recipe is also in our database so you can add it to your recipe book and shopping list
Gently rinse, drain and dry 500 g of mixed fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries). You can of course use any fruit.
Make a sugar syrup by bringing 125 ml of sugar and 125 ml of water to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature (it will keep indefinately in the refrigerator).
Purée the berries and mix well with 30ml strained fresh lemon juice, cold sugar syrup and, if you like, 15 - 30 ml eau-de-vie (a clear, colourless fruit brandy) or white rum.
Freeze in an ice-cream machine to make a perfect, velvety smooth sorbet.
Serve in glass bowls to show off the rich colour.
RECIPES TO TRY - or simply type 'sorbet' into the search box above
A granita is a semi-frozen Italian dessert related to sorbet. Try our Muscadel granita or organic beetroot granita