I noticed that there are still quite a few blackberries in the hedgerows, as well as in the shops. It's also surprisingly warm at the moment, so why not cling on to last days of summer by making blackberry sorbet. It must be the perfect late summer, early autumn dessert with it's intense delicious berry flavour. Warming hot puddings can wait a little longer!
How to make smooth sorbets
Sorbet is surprisingly easy to make, the key to a smooth sorbet is breaking up the ice crystals as they form. The smaller the ice crystals the smoother the sorbet.
If you have an ice cream maker then this is done for you, as the paddle will constantly move the sorbet as it freezes, so preventing large crystals from forming. Not having an ice cream maker doesn't mean you cannot make a good sorbet or ice creams though, you simply have to break the crystals up manually, by beating or whisking the mixture several times during the freezing process.
We can also help the mixture form smaller crystals by freezing the sorbet in a shallow container. A shallow layer of liquid will freeze more quickly than a deeper layer of liquid. The quicker the liquid freezes the smaller the ice crystals.
The addition of a whisked egg white also helps produce a smooth sorbet as the albumen in the egg white will coat the already formed ice crystals and help prevent them joining together to form larger crystals.
Hints, tips and variations
- Make the sorbet with raspberries or a mixture of berries instead of just blackberries.
- If you leave the sorbet a bit too long before stirring to break up the crystals and large ice crystals have already formed, transfer to a bowl and beat with an electric whisk to help break up the crystals.
- Use an orange flavoured liqueur instead of the cassis if preferred.
- For an alcohol free sorbet, add blackcurrant cordial instead
- You can also make this from frozen berries, allow to thaw sufficiently to blitz in a food processor and continue as above.
More Frozen Dessert Recipes Made Easy
- Basil ice cream
- Stem ginger ice cream
- Christmas pudding ice cream
- White chocolate parfait
- Strawberry Baked Alaska
- Strawberry yogurt lollies
- 100 g caster sugar
- juice and grated rind of 1 orange
- 500 g blackberries
- 2 - 3 tbsp cassis
- 1 large egg white
- Place 100g (3½oz) sugar in a saucepan with 175ml (6floz) water and heat gently stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange juice and zest.
- Blitz 500g (1lb2oz) blackberries in a food processor and push through a nylon sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in the cooled sugar syrup and 2- 3tbsp cassis.
- Pour into a rigid, shallow container and freeze, stirring with a fork every 30 minutes or so until ice crystals start to form and it feels slushy. Alternatively, if you have an ice cream machine, churn the mixture until it starts to freeze.
- When the sorbet is slushy, whisk 1 egg white until standing on soft peaks. Add to the sorbet and beat to combine.
- Continue to freeze, beating every 30 minutes or so until completely frozen. If making more than a few days in advance, transfer to an airtight container.
- Use blackcurrant cordial as a non-alacholic alternative to the cassis.
- Place the sorbet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so that it is soft enough to scoop.
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months