There are a few things I miss about my life back in the UK, berries being one of them. My garden back home is filled with berries – raspberries, strawberries, loganberries, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries and red and black currants. Here’s a photo of a sample of my berry harvest taken a few years ago.
But since coming here to Greece, berries are not the norm for fresh summer fruit. Frankly, it is too hot, although you do get strawberries in spring. Initally, I brought bare raspberry and loganberry canes with me to plant, but after a single summer, they simply dried to dust and gave up the ghost. (Mixed metaphor alert!) Most berries you get here (except those strawberries) are imported, but I have heard that a few enterprising farmers are attempting to grow raspberries in upland plateaus or further north in the country where it is cooler year round.
Meanwhile, I make due with this wonderful find from the mega catering supply warehouse – bags of frozen berries. They certainly come in useful for making sorbetti. Plus, I get my berry fix.
I made this with ‘fruits of the forest’ mix consisting of blackberries, blueberries, a few raspberries and sweet cherries, some strawberries and red and black currants. I expect the recipe can be used for any sort of berry – single variety or mixed.
- 600g berry purée
- fructose (optional)
- 140g/ml water
- 205g sugar
- 50g dextrose
- 5g xanthan gum
Defrost your berries and purée. The bits and pips can remain or you can pass the purée through a sieve for a smoother texture, but weigh the pulp after. Taste and if the fruit is very sour, add fructose – a little at a time – until sweet, but still a little tart. Set the fruit aside, keeping it cool in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, weigh out your sugar, dextrose and xanthan gum. Whisk to blend the sugars and stabaliser. In a glass bowl, warm your water in the microwave until it is warm, but not hot – about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk the sugar mixture into the warm water. It will immediately begin to gel. Cool slightly and add to the cold purée of fruit. Whisk the mixture together, cover and cool in the refrigerator.
When the mixture is completely cool, purée again using a wand blender. This makes sure the mixture is well blended. Process in your ice cream machine. Remove when done and put into a container in the freezer for at least 4 hours before using – best overnight. To scoop, take the container out of the freezer about half an hour before serving and place into the refrigerator. Scoop and enjoy!
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Tip: If you have excess berry pulp after measuring, put this in a little container in the freezer. It may come in handy to top up fruit required for the next batch of sorbetto.