Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Gooseberry and elderflower sorbet


There are plenty of green things around at this time of year to get excited about. Broad beans and fresh peas, as discussed in a previous post. Globe artichokes - possibly the most labour-intensive ingredient of them all, but immensely satisfying to prepare. The pale, satiny husks of corn on the cob. Asparagus, if you can still find some hanging around. Gooseberries.
Gooseberries have quite a short season, and are one of the only fruits that you won't find all year round, having been shipped in from Kenya or Brazil or something. This, I think, makes them extra special, and something to be cherished while they last. I've already used them to make a sauce for grilled mackerel (a classic combination, and one I was pleased to see featuring on Great British Menu this year). I am also planning a gooseberry meringue pie, a gooseberry and amaretti biscuit fool, and a gooseberry cheesecake. Today, though, sorbet seemed like a good option - not too labour intensive and not too filling, given that I intended to eat a sizable portion of the aforementioned rye bread for lunch (and did. It was great).

Gooseberries and elderflowers are another classic combination, and work very well together in this sorbet. You could make it with real elderflowers if you can find them, but elderflower cordial is a good shortcut. Just get 500g gooseberries, and top and tail them. Put 150ml water in a pan with 120g sugar, and heat for 5 minutes or so until the sugar has dissolved and it has become syrupy. Add the gooseberries and cook until they are soft. Allow to cool before pureéing in a blender. Add some elderflower cordial to taste (I didn't measure, just put in a couple of big glugs of the stuff, but it depends how strong your cordial is, so taste it as you go). Churn in an ice cream maker until frozen, then put in the freezer. Simple as that. 


I like my sorbets quite sharp, but you can add more sugar if you don't like tart fruit. This is lovely on its own, but also good with vanilla ice cream, or a handful of fresh raspberries. It would probably also be quite good with a rich dessert, like a vanilla cheesecake. 
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2 comments:

  1. Gooseberries don't grow in England? I didn't know that - they grow wild in Canada, you'd think they'd be able to grow in Britain!

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  2. I think I worded that wrong - I meant no, they do grow here, and have a short season because you can't import them from anywhere else like you can with some fruit.

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