Friday, 27 July 2018

Gooseberry Sorbet

A few years ago we had the most amazing gooseberry ice cream on a cliff top in Cornwall. I can't remember exactly where we were, or what company made it, just that it was after a blazing hot morning of walking with full packs along the coastal path, and that it was the best thing I'd ever tasted (it might have been the heat, but it was pretty darn tasty). So when an allotment friend gave us a bagful of super-ripe gooseberries the other day, we decided that was what we wanted to make with them. As we're trying to eat less dairy products, we went with sorbet rather than ice cream. This takes a while to make without an ice cream maker - several hours of stirring and freezing - but it's got such an intense flavour it's definitely worth it. It's super refreshing on its own, but it would go really well with some plain yoghurt for a creamier pudding, vegan or otherwise, whatever's your bag!

                                                                                                                                                          (c) Becca Thorne 2018


Gooseberry Sorbet

Ingredients
1kg ripe gooseberries, blossom and stalk removed
400g caster sugar (golden's best, but white will do)
400ml water

Find a saucepan big enough to fit everything in and, over a low-medium heat, gently stir the sugar and water together until the sugar's dissolved. Add the gooseberries, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for around 5 mins, or until the gooseberries are squishy and broken apart. It won't take long.

Using a blender, blitz up the gooseberry mixture until it's super smooth. Place a sieve over a good-size bowl and pour in the mixture, a bit at a time, gently pushing it through the sieve with a wooden spoon until you have just seeds and bits of skin left in the sieve. Discard these bits, and continue until it's all sieved through. If you taste it now, you'll probably find it's a little too sweet - this is because freezing dulls sweet flavours slightly, but the sugar also stops it turning into a solid block of ice in the freezer. Cover (to keep the fruit flies away - they go nuts for this stuff) and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, tip the puree into a freezer-proof tub with a lid, and place in the freezer - or, if you've got an ice cream maker, tip it in there, follow the machine's instructions and walk away, you lucky bugger. But if, like me, it's just you and your freezer, you'll need to check on it after about an hour, when you should find it's becoming icy around the edges of the mixture. Use a fork to stir and mash these bits into the mix. Do this approx once an hour until it's more solid than not, and then let it freeze completely. If you don't do all the mashing you'll still have a tasty sorbet, but it will be full of hard, jagged ice crystals, rather than the nice, smooth texture you want. So give it a go!

Scoff.

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