By Rose McAvoy
A few days shy of my birthday in early June I opened a large Amazon box and yipped with glee. I was now the proud owner of an ice cream maker! Leave it to my sister to pick out just the right gift. She later confessed that the gift was given with slightly selfish motives. She also had an ice cream maker but was a bit intimidated by the process so she gave me one in the hopes that I would make homemade frozen desserts seem more approachable.
Both June and July were very busy in our house so I had to wait a couple of months to put the ice cream maker into action. Fortunately my calendar freed up just as we began harvesting bushels of blackberries. In July sampled a pretty incredible raspberry sorbet made by Talenti that gets my mouth watering even weeks later. I was inspired to give our blackberries a chance to shine in a similar way.
As excited as I was to have the ice cream maker, I was also a little intimidated by the process though I’m not really sure why. To make sure I got a handle on the basics I made sure the first batch used a tested recipe (something I should do more often). The recipe proved to be fairly simple, the hardest part was squishing the berries through a sieve.
After about 40 minutes of THE LOUDEST SMALL APPLIANCE MOTOR EVER I was delighted to remove the cover and find actual sorbet. It came out a deep fuchsia with a light pillowy texture. The texture stayed fluffy and scoopable even after a few days in the freezer. It was very very sweet but that helped us keep to small servings and enjoy the berry goodness for about a week.
Now that I have overcome my ice cream maker nerves I am looking forward to playing with more ways to make frozen treats at home – I’ll just let it churn outside to protect our ears.
While the recipe indicates blackberries this process can easily be used to make sorbet from raspberries or other juicy summer berries. The resulting dessert is very sweet. To balance the sweetness consider serving along side a bit of vanilla ice cream or a few simply flavored wafer cookies. From Williams-Sonoma.
Prep time: 20, Cook time: 10 minutes, Freeze time: varies; Yield 8 servings
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups fresh blackberries (rinsed and air dried)
- 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1. Combine the water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat over medium-high. Allow the liquid to boil. Stir frequently and continue cooking until the sugar dissolves and the syrup turns clear. Should only take a minute or two. If using raw sugar the liquid will be brownish.
2. Add the clean and dry blackberries to the syrup and allow the liquid to resume boiling over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning and cook until the berries soften. This can take 2-5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and strain the berries through a fine sieve into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to mash the berries into the mesh until all the juice has been pressed out. Toss the remaining pulp. Stir the lemon juice into the blackberry liquid.
4. Refrigerate the finished sorbet base for 3 or more hours before pouring into your ice cream maker. Prepare the sorbet according to the ice cream manufacturer’s instructions. Sorbet should come out soft and fluffy and hold its texture for up to a week in the freezer.
Note: The Williams-Sonoma recipe indicates this process will yield 1 1/2 cups of liquid and 1 pint of sorbet. In my experience this yields about 4 cups of liquid and more than a quart of sorbet.
Approximate nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 0 g protein, PP = 3