By trial and error I have come to realise that the higher the ratio of fruit pulp to water, the creamier your sorbet turns out. I have been asked by people sampling this all-fruit example whether I have added milk to the mixture. But no, it’s fruit, all fruit… a bit like eating a plum in fresh-from-the-freezer form. Quite delicious.
Plums – 750 g
Sugar – 6 tbs
Choose ripe plums of any kind you have handy: I use the small ones from the tree in my vegetable garden which I call – for no particular reason – damsons. If you’re eating them fresh from the tree, these pass from tongue-curlingly acid to utterly insipid in a matter of days. But they cook up beautifully at any stage – as jam, as lightly stewed fruit compote, or as sorbet. If you use dark plums your sorbet will be a beautiful pinky red; if you use greengages, a cool charteuse.
Remove the stones (if you cut an oblique line all around each plum with a sharp knife then pull the halves apart, the stone sticks out of one piece at an angle which makes it easy to pull out) and put the fruit into a saucepan. Cover the bottom of the saucepan with a thin layer of water – just enough to stop the plums sticking before they begin to go soft and run juice. Cook the fruit over a low-ish heat until it’s barely soft, then blitz it well with a stick blender.
Pour the fruit pulp into a measuring jug: you should have about 600-650 g. You’ll need to bring the temperature of the pulp right down, so stand the jug in a bowl of cold water, stirring (or just leaving it to its own devices) until it’s cool enough to put in the fridge.
In a small saucepan, put a tiny bit more water than you’d need to add to the fruit pulp to bring it up to 800 g – 150 or 200 ml. To this, add the sugar, then heat it up, stirring it to make sure the sugar dissolves properly. Allow this sugar syrup to boil gently for about ten minutes, then stir it into the fruit pulp.
When the mix is quite cool, you can pour it into your ice cream maker. (If you don’t have this wonderful piece of kitchen kit, there are instructions for what to do here.)
©Anne Hanley, 2013