Our blackberries are beginning to fruit, and before I start into the real jam season, I love to play around with desserts. Crumbles obviously are high on the list, blackberry and apple, or blackberry with other red fruit YUMM....
But this year, I wanted to be a little braver and have started making the most wonderful black berry and mint sorbet. This has been devoured here several times over the last fortnight, but each time I forgot or missed the moment for pictures, so these shots are borrowed from Google. (thank you!)
To make enough sorbet for 6 people, I first freeze about 6 cups of fresh blackberries.
Then I make a light syrup using 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. I drop a couple of handfuls of fresh mint into the pan containing the sugar and water, and bring everything to a boil. As soon as it boils, I turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down. This step could easily be done the day before.
I am also informed that lavender works very well in the place of mint.
When ready I strain out the mint leaves and pour the delicious smelling syrup into a shallow tray, and pop it in to the freezer.
The next step depends on whether you have an ice cream maker, and also how smooth a texture you wish the sorbet to be.
For a reason I have yet to understand, I do not have an ice cream or sorbet machine.
I am also happy to have a little fruit texture in the sorbet.
I therefore pop the frozen berries and almost frozen syrup into a blender and whizz away for a few minutes. When I think it is blended enough, I pour the mix into a deep tray and return to the deep freeze. Every 30 minutes I remove the tray and stir it well with a large spoon. After four stirs I declare my sorbet 'done' and leave it in peace in the deep freeze until we are ready to scoop out tasteful little balls of sorbet into tiny bowls. Add a couple of fresh berries for decoration, and a snippet from a passing mint leaf and I am in business.
I'm telling you: this is a breeze, and - providing nobody spills sorbet down their new white linen trousers (let's not go there !) - it is a dessert that is generally acclaimed by all and sundry.
One day, when I grow up, I shall attempt this rather wonderful looking swirly combination of blackberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, and that really would impress!