This flavour combination was inspired by a late-summer afternoon sitting in the orchard of my friend Chiara’s organic smallholding in Somerset. That’s not true: I don’t have a friend called Chiara. And this recipe came from the ingredient list on a pot of supermarket yogurt I was eating in front of the telly. Sorbet-making can get offputtingly technical. An easier option is to make up a sugar syrup, mix it into twice its volume of a sweet fruit purée, then freeze. If you’re using the freezer, rather than an ice-cream machine, note that the results will not be soft or creamy. But who cares? The flavour is glorious.
For a stand-alone dessert to serve 4–6
- 150g sugar
- 150ml boiling water
- 600g raspberries
- 4 tbsp elderflower cordial
- Pinch of salt
Pour the boiling water onto the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge.
Purée and sieve the raspberries. You should end up with about 500ml. Mix the purée with the elderflower cordial and the pinch of salt.
Add the chilled syrup to the purée, holding back the last few tablespoons, which you can add in increments, tasting as you go. Bear in mind that freezing mutes flavour and sweetness. If you think the mix needs a little more vibrancy, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a few drops of wine vinegar.
Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes, if you have time. The colder the mixture, the smaller the ice crystals, making for a smoother sorbet.
Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine. Or pour it into a plastic container, to a depth of no more than 3cm, and transfer to the freezer. Set a timer for 30-minute intervals and keep checking until it starts to ice up at the sides. When it has, break it up using a fork or blender. Repeat at least twice, until the mixture is all ice crystals. After your last stir, leave it to harden in the freezer for a few hours.
6 Transfer the sorbet to the fridge to soften for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit is published by Bloomsbury ($45.00) Out now!