July 10, 2013

Blackberry, Rose and Mint Sorbet

Blackberry, Rose and Mint Sorbet
Hello, summer!  Blackberry sorbet with rose and mint- for adults and kids!  This is a successful way to get my 3 year old son to eat fruit- in a rocket ship shaped popsicle- a serious victory!  I was recently feeding our 1 year old daughter some blackberries, they were so unbelievably ripe and delicious- and huge- and I thought, I need to make these into sorbet, ASAP!  While I was getting some more blackberries- because this young lady eats so much fruit- seriously- I think I go fruit shopping at least twice a week, primarily for the baby- as I was standing in the check out line, while the baby was smiling and cooing with an older French woman, there they were- rocket shaped popsicle molds.  Where have you been all my son's life?!  I thought, and they went up on the check out conveyor belt too.  I should explain a little more of that- my son is highly suspicious of all fruits and vegetables in their natural form.  With a few loopholes- corn is delicious and acceptable to him, as are sweet potatoes and dinosaur shaped spinach/potato bites- and recently, orange segments get all their juice sucked out of them.  Contests to do so against Daddy seem to be appealing.  Occasionally a bite of a banana gets eaten, and, if it is cooked with the other ingredients, broccoli rabe will get eaten in this La Dolce Duchessa recipe: Broccoli Rabe and Sausage with Pasta.  So, as you can see, this list is not long, and it is limited, and I am always looking for ways for him to get more fruits and vegetables.

Rocket Pop Molds (Whole Foods)

All that being said, this is also a really, really delicious sorbet that I have really been enjoying- the addition of the rose and the mint give it almost a vegetable, plant like flavor in addition to the great fruit and sweetness- so it doesn't taste like a one note fruit sorbet.  I would be delighted to serve this for dessert at a summer dinner party- especially if you were seated outside.  It's refreshing and delicious!

Blackberry, Rose and Mint Sorbet
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup (not tightly packed) dried red rose buds and petals
10 large mint leaves (fresh)
4 cups (not tightly packed) blackberries (about 13-14 ounces)

Dried red rose buds and petals
The dried roses I bought from Amazon, here's the link: Dried Roses, I bought them for some Persian recipes that called for them and was inspired to add them to this sorbet.  Regardless of where you get your dried roses, make sure they are intended for culinary use.  Let's get started!  First, make sure you have pre-frozen the bowl for your ice cream maker.  It usually needs to have been in your freezer for about a day- when in doubt, check the directions of your particular machine.  In a medium pot, combine the water and sugar over low-med heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer over med-high heat.  Remove from the heat, add the roses and the mint, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.  These mint leaves, I'm pleased to say, came from the container garden outside on the patio- the mint plant is much larger now and we have several beautiful tomatoes forming!  When I say large, I mean really large mint leaves, so if yours aren't as big, (some are literally 2 inches long), use more leaves to make up the difference.

Making simple syrup, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar

1 cup dried rose buds and petals

Syrup with dried roses and mint leaves

Once 30 minutes has passed, strain the mixture.  I like to use this screen strainer with a handle.

Straining

Isn't that a beautiful color?  Cool this off in the refrigerator for a little while, 30 minutes at a minimum is probably fine.  Now, wash your blackberries.  Blend in a blender with the syrup.  You'll need to strain the mixture now- primarily for the blackberry seeds and solids.  I use the same screen strainer with a handle over a bowl, and, because the mixture is fairly thick and the screen's openings are very small, I need to use a spoon to press the juice out.  This takes a little while.  Leave it alone for a few minutes and let the weight of the mixture do some of the work for you.  What is ultimately left looks a little like jam.  When in doubt, peek at the underside of the strainer, you should be able to tell if any liquid is still coming out.

Pouring the mixture from the blender into the strainer

Using a spoon to press liquid through the strainer

Once you've extracted everything you can- you can go ahead and either make popsicles or chill it to make sorbet.  For the rocket pop molds, I used a small juice glass to keep a single rocket upright in the freezer (this is a way to keep it upright while freezing if you aren't using the tray).  If you have a different popsicle maker, follow those directions.  This one needs to freeze for 4 hours.

Keeping rocket popsicle mold upright in a glass

To make sorbet, chill your mixture for about 30 minutes before you put it in the ice cream maker.  This was in my ice cream maker for about 35 minutes before I spooned it out and put it in the freezer.  It was not as solid as I have experienced with gelato in the same ice cream maker, but once it's been in the freezer for a little while it scoops and serves very nicely- fairly quickly actually- meaning it seems to melt fairly fast.  This is definitely easier than making gelato- even though making gelato is very much worth it!  Why not try this?

In the ice cream maker

This would probably work well in the Zoku popsicle maker- although we were given one as a lovely gift, I haven't used it yet- but now I'm inspired to use it!  I think some nice ripe peaches with some cream and cinnamon might be next on the sorbet / popsicle agenda- maybe also some chocolate and anise concoction...

Our inspiration for the sorbet!

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