Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Raspberry Sorbet and Simple Syrup

In my recent post about Ma’s lemonade recipe I mentioned that it could be frozen into a slushy or popsicle-like dessert.
Well, the kiddies aren’t the only ones who love something cold during hot summer days. 
Sure, you could stock up on ice cream.
But even ice cream can become a bit boring if you have it day after day.

It’s easy to make your own frozen desserts.
Sorbet is an easy to make, cool way to eat fruit.
It tastes great and the kids can help you make it.
It doesn’t have any milk or cream, so it’s perfect for dieters, or for people who want or need to avoid dairy products. 


Some say that the Roman Emperor Nero invented sorbet during the first century AD.
He had runners along the Appian way pass buckets of snow hand over hand from the mountains to his banquet hall where it was then mixed with honey and wine.

Relax.  This recipe is way easier.
No runners, snow, buckets or mountains required.


Hints:

The simple syrup can be prepared a day or two in advance.
Just keep it stored, covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Actually it’s a good idea to have simple syrup on hand for drinks like lemonade, so it’s a good idea to make a bit extra.

If you’re making the sorbet the same day you’re making the syrup, speed the cooling by pouring the syrup into a bowl, then placing the bowl in a larger bowl of ice.
Stir the syrup until it cools.

If you want to use fresh lemon juice, you’ll need 1 to 2 lemons to get enough juice.

The vodka helps the sorbet freeze smoothly.
Don’t worry - the kids won’t get drunk from the sorbet.
On second thought, if they’re making it, maybe you should be in the same room when they are adding the vodka.

For a blueberry sorbet, use five cups of blueberries.
You can also experiment with other berries, such as strawberries.
Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for a less tart flavour.
Like it tart?  Use cranberries.


                        Simple Syrup

Place in a medium saucepan
1 1/4 Cups sugar
2 1/4 Cups water
Bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Then turn down the heat to low.
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.


                        Raspberry Sorbet

Combine in a blender
6 cups raspberries
1/4 Cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Process until very smooth.
Pour the fruit through a fine sieve or strainer which is over a large bowl.
Press down on the solids to get a smooth mush in the bowl. 
Discard any leftover skins and seeds in the sieve.

Add to the mush
1 1/4 Cups simple syrup 
1 – 2 Tablespoons vodka 
Stir together until well combined.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
When the mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from the refrigerator.

Pour the sorbet mixture into a shallow pan, cover with foil, and place in the freezer. 
After 30 minutes or so, remove and beat the mixture using electric beaters or a sturdy fork. 
This will break up the ice crystals that form and make the mixture freeze more evenly for a smoother sorbet.

Recover the sorbet with the aluminum foil. 
Place the sorbet back in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove and beat the mixture using electric beaters or a sturdy fork.

Repeat this process every 30 minutes, until the sorbet is too hard to beat.
Scoop into a resealable container and freeze until ready to serve.
You can serve it as is, or garnish each serving with fresh fruit.

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