Blackcurrant sorbet


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

It is a shame that redcurrants and blackcurrants come to fruition at the same time! This weekend has been a frantic cooking time.
The blackcurrants are difficult to pick. They hide away beneath the leaves but we got two huge bowls full. There are various methods for making sorbet but this is mine.
Blackcurrants 1 large bowl
1 pint water
12 oz castor sugar
Lemon juice and zest.

I wash the berries first. To release the juices, I put them – berries and stalks in the preserving pan with a little water and heat. This helps get some of the juices going but there is nothing for it. You have to put the lot through the sieve and mash the juices out. This is hard work and you have to be careful otherwise the kitchen looks like a chain-saw masacre. The juices can get everywhere! Just do a little at a time.
I make up a syrup with 1 pint of water and 12 oz castor sugar, add the lemon juice and zest and boil for a few minutes. Cool.
Mix the blackcurrant juice and syrup. I use half and half and then taste. It is a fine balance between having the sorbet too tart or too sugary.
Put in the fridge to cool and then pour into the ice -cream maker for about 15 minutes until slushy. If you haven’t got an ice-cream maker then put in a container into the freezer and stir the mixture up every 1/2 hour or so to stop ice crystals forming.

The effort is worth it. This is one of the best sorbets with an intense flavour.


Raspberry sorbet


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Now the raspberries are coming to fruition I reach for the recipe books. The raspberry cage has become a little overgrown so one has the joy of pushing the nettles aside to reach those ripe fruits. They are delicious to eat fresh or maybe on the Ravenous Rambler Breakfast. My favourite though is raspberry sorbet and I think I have found an excellent quick way of making it.
Before I tell you the recipe though, I have been reading Christopher Lloyd on the Gardener Cook. He reminded me that if you plant a mixture of canes in the same cage they sucker off each other and you end up with the same type of raspberry. They need a rich soil and it worth giving them a good mulch of garden compost each year. When you pick them – they hide away under the leaves and you have to look carefully to find them.
Most of the recipe books say that you should cook up a sugar syrup but I just wanted to make a sorbet in a short time so used the following rough recipe.

2 large soup containers full of raspberries.
4 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 lemon juice
About 1/2 pint of water

The amounts were rather rough. I just chucked the raspberries into the blender with the icing sugar and lemon juice. Blitzed them up with some of the water in a couple of goes and pressed the result through a sieve to catch the pips. Add the rest of the water to help wash through the juice.
Put the result in an ice cream blender and blend for about 10 minutes until it turns into a lovely smooth icy sorbet. Eat and freeze. If you don’t have an ice cream churner. Put in a container in the freezer and take it out every 15 minutes to stir so that it doesn’t crystallize.
This is a yummy sorbet and is good with some fresh raspberries as well. Enjoy and let me know how you get on.