Last week I posted two beautiful blueberry recipes to celebrate berry season. A pretty blueberry tart and a gorgeous blueberry and white chocolate mousse. This week I am continuing with the berry theme, this time showcasing the succulent blackberrry. Today's post is all about turning the sweet and tangy blackberry into a refreshing cold summer treat: mmmm, sorbet. And to make it extra special, I have included my recipe for vanilla tuiles, so you can not only enjoy your frozen treat, but also eat the bowl!
Our back lane has literally disappeared into a sea of blackberry bushes, so thick that one needs to go in wearing full body armour to harvest these pretty little jewels. After picking for about 10 minutes, the yield can easily reach about 2 pounds or more. And with the fabulous hot sun beating down on the thicket, each day brings on another onslaught of berries just waiting to be picked. Its just so tough to keep up!
You will need an ice cream machine for this recipe, as there is just no comparison to the creamy texture achieved using this method. I have tried the manual method, freezing the liquid in a baking pan and checking on it every 30 minutes to stir it so the ice crystals don't turn it into a frozen mess - and trust me, it is worth every $ spent to use an automated ice cream machine - and so dead easy. If you factor in the cost of buying a premium brand of ice cream, gelato or sorbet, the machine will pay for itself after a summer.
For the sorbet
1- 1/4 cups berry sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 cup water
3 cups fresh blackberries
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Zest of 1/2 lime
For the Tuiles
3/4 cup berry sugar (or granulated sugar)
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Small dessert bowl and wooden spoon for shaping
How Its Done
1. Make the simple syrup:
- combine the sugar, water and mint leaves in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until sugar is completely dissolved, about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat; Stir for a few minutes to cool; remove mint leaves and pour into glass measuring cup and place in freezer to cool completely while preparing the blackberries.
2. Puree the berries:
- pick through the blackberries removing any debris, or suspect looking berries - rinse in colander and set aside to drain; place in rerfigerator until simple syrup is well chilled.
When the simple syrup is chilled, puree the berries. Process on high until the berries are pureed and liquified. Transfer mixture to a mesh strainer and push pulp through with a wooden spoon to remove the seeds. This process will take some muscle - keep pushing the pulp through the strainer until you are left with almost only seeds. Return mixture to food processor; add simple syrup and lime juice; pulse until combined; place in refrigerator or freezer until well chilled.
3. Make the sorbet:
- pour your prepared mixture into the ice cream maker (as per manufacturer's directions). I have a Cuisinart, so my sorbet processed for about 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, add the lime zest. Your sorbet should look like melted ice cream. Pour into a glass storage container with lid and place in freezer for several hours until firm, but still scoop-able.
Makes about 4 cups of sorbet
* Note - this may look like it is waaay too difficult, but it really isn't - seriously, anyone can make these!
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar until well combined, but not foamy; whisk in the melted butter; add flour and vanilla and whisk until smooth - do not over-mix. Batter will be thick, not pourable; refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour, ideally 2-3 hours.
2. Start off by making only 1 or 2 cookies for practice until you have it down, as they firm up very quickly once removed from the oven and can only be shaped while soft.
Scoop a small amount of the batter onto a Silpat/or parchment lined cookie sheet or a well greased cookie sheet; for the bowls, spread into a thin circle using a metal spatula or flat knife. Your circle should be about 1 1/2" to 2" larger than the widest part of your dessert bowl - the size of the shape will not change during baking; for the spirals, spread the batter into a 5-6" long narrow strip. Bake in a 300°F oven for about 7-9 minutes, until lightly browned.
Have your dessert bowls and wooden spoon ready. Remove the baking sheet from the oven; after about 5-7 seconds, gently remove the baked circle from the pan using a metal spatula; quickly mould into the dessert bowl, pressing gently until cool - it will harden quickly. Gently lift the strip off the baking tray and drape around the handle of the wooden spoon, in a spiral. Once cool, slide off the handle. If the tuiles are too hard to mould, return to oven for a minute or so and try again. Store cooled tuiles in an air tight container.
Scoop sorbet into tuile bowls just before serving as they are delicate and will soften with the moisture of the sorbet.
Makes many, many shapes and sizes of tuile cookies - recipe can be halved.
Adapted from Fine Cooking and The Hungry Mouse