Having a summer vacation for the first time in nine years, has put me in a “berry” good mood. I adore having time to spend in the kitchen. My love for creating great food has magnified and expanded in ways I never thought it would! Today’s recipe is a perfect example, Blackberry Sorbet!
I’ve never made sorbet before, but my new ice cream maker and fresh berries available everywhere right now, gave me a reason to get creative!
Berries have to be one of my favorite things about Summer. You can tell because our refrigerator is full of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries right now. These gems are finding their way into nearly everything I make lately. Blackberries are my favorite, so I knew that was the flavor I wanted for my first sorbet.
Blackberries grew wild around my Grandparents house. I spent many a summer picking and eating baskets of berries with my cousins. You’d think after making myself sick eating those blackberries every year, I would be tired of them. Not a chance! It’s one of the many cherished memories I have of spending time with my Grandparents. (That, and sitting with Grandma snapping green beans on the back porch.) This sorbet has such a great blackberry flavor, it takes me right back to those warm summer days of sticky fingers, purple tongues and Grandma scolding me for spoiling my dinner!
Along with the memories, I love the purity of ingredients in this recipe. Fresh berries, sugar, water, a bit of salt, and vanilla are all you need to bring this Blackberry Sorbet to life. I also add just a touch of vodka to the mix. Don’t let that put you off. It’s just a tiny amount and the alcohol helps make the sorbet blend smoothly. The blackberry version turned out so well, I can’t wait to try it again with strawberries or raspberries!
This does take a bit of time to make, so plan ahead. You want the mix to be ice-cold when it goes into your ice-cream/sorbet maker. I used fresh berries, but you can use frozen berries too. Just be sure to thaw them completely and make sure they are well-drained. Look at the package too! If you use unsweetened berries, you may want to adjust the sugar. Likewise if you use frozen sweetened berries, you would need less sugar. I suggest, always use fresh! That way you don’t have to worry about any other additives they may have put in the packaging.
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 cups water
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp blackberry vodka (regular vodka is fine too)
In a large bowl, sprinkle berries with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside at room temperature.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir water and remaining 1 cup of sugar, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Heat until the mixture just begins to form little bubbles around the edge of the pan.
Do not boil.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla bean to the syrup. Let steep for 20 minutes as the syrup cools.
Carefully remove vanilla pod from the warm syrup.
For a stronger vanilla flavor, you can scrape the bean clean and add to the berry mixture.
Pour berries into the pan and stir to combine.
Add a pinch of salt and the vodka, then heat until the rest of the sugar is dissolved, about two minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Puree mixture with an immersion blender, or regular blender.
You can leave the mixture chunky or strain it through a fine mesh sieve. (NOTE: I strained mine twice to create a super smooth sorbet.)
Once the mix is the consistency you want, pour into a large bowl.
Cool completely in the refrigerator, three hours or overnight if possible.
Churn mixture according to your machines manufacturers directions for making sorbet.
Put sorbet into freezer-proof containers and freeze for at least two hours.
Enjoy, Foodie Friends! What other treats remind your of your childhood summers? I’d love to hear!