Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Blackcurrant Sorbet and liquorice sticks

Some years ago (more than I care to remember) Ribena held a summer promotion where if you got a purple straw you could send it off to claim a free cutting of the Ribena berry Ben Hope.

I was working at a cafe at the time an more than one customer left behind their purple straw so I ended up with several cuttings which grew incredibly well and strike so easily I am now on third or fourth generation plants.

Despite having a number of very healthy plants, I have eaten very few blackcurrants over the years.  They always seem to ripen while we are on holiday and by the time we are back, the birds have beaten me to it.  Not this year though!

Having returned from a holiday on the Saturday I went out to take stock of the garden and noticed one ripe blackcurrant - great I hadn't missed them.  Gardening on the Sunday I looked up to see a bush full of ripe blackcurrants, they had obviously been waiting for me!

With the weather being so warm I decided that the best use of them would be Blackcurrant sorbet.  I used this recipe from Lavender and Lovage although I only had enough berries for a half batch it was plenty.

 I love the colour that blackcurrants give, such a bonus to the taste.  I'm lucky enough to have an icecream maker - an excellent birthday gift some years back - so making sorbet was really a doddle, boil the fruit and sugar syrup, cool and pour into the maker.  My work was done oh so quickly.

Sorbet after mixing in the icecream maker
 I must confess that I did not read the recipe thoroughly and tossed my fruit in the pan whole, without topping and tailing, however I don't feel that this affected the final product in any way, and candour compels me to admit that even if I had read that part, I probably would have been too lazy to do it.

I served the sorbet with liquorice sticks which were great as they worked really well as spoons.  The recipe said it would serve 4-6, but I only made a half batch and it easily served four (with larger servings than pictured below, I started small and went back for seconds!) with a good size portion left over.

Blackcurrant sorbet served with a liquorice stick spoon
It's the first time I've made sorbet and I was amazed at how easy it was and how healthy I can convince myself it is (just a little bit of sugar, right?).  I will definitely be trying more sorbets with garden fruit this year.

As a bonus the seedy mush left over after straining was enjoyed by the chickens!

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