For the past weeks It could be said that the ‘part of the obsessed Anglophile will be played by Boulder Locavore’. After chancing upon mention of a beguiling potion called Hedgerow Gin I’ve been sleuthing local equivalents to Brittan’s wild hedgerow fruits. I’ve pinned any Brit or Brit-knowledgeable friends to the wall and peppered them with questions about the flavor profiles of their wild delicacies to fashion worthy substitutes to some of the historic recipes I’ve discovered of late.
Local, organic Italian Prune Plums from Jay Hill Farm
During one such session as I was pelting blogger friend Caroline, author of All That I’m Eating (a lovely blog featuring the local, seasonal food discoveries in Berkshire England) with questions about Wild Damson Plums and Sloes (a berry looking tart wild plum) on Twitter, when second British friend Rebecca of the blog Chow and Chatter (dietician, purveyor of delicious healthy recipes and social media goddess) piped up with a quick recipe link for this: Damson and Gin Sorbet. My heart began to race.
There was another factor involved in my reaction to the sorbet recipe, our weather; it’s hot. By the calendar it IS the first week of fall but only until 9:13 a.m. A jacket has been needed, even a woolen hat one or two days last week, but by mid morning summer togs are required and by mid afternoon shamelessly wearing a bathing suit in public has been tempting thanks to 90 degree F (32.5 C) heat. Suffice it to say sorbet, let alone of the plum variety, has sounded like a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
Though I could not replicate the full recipe I felt I could reproduce it with my own local spin, paying homage to the English fruits I so covet. Who knows; maybe someone on the other side of the pond will read this and drool over Jay Hill Farms organic Italian Prune Plums!
Plum Rosemary-Gin Sorbet
In the spirit of experiencing this recipe in some form, should you not have this specific plum variety, try a different one. If you don’t want to make a batch of Rosemary-Infused Gin, use regular gin.
· 3 ounces granulated sugar
· 1 ½ pounds Italian Prune Plums, cut in half and pitted
· 3 ½ tablespoons Rosemary-Infused Gin (clickfor recipe)
· 1 tablespoon Crème de Cassis
· 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. In a small pan, add the sugar to 4 ounces water. Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes until sugar fully dissolves. Stir while mixture boils. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium size pan, place all plum halves with ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until fruit has softened (you are essentially lightly steaming the fruit to soften it making the juice able to more freely be extracted from the fruit). Remove from heat.
3. Place the plums and any liquid into a food mill and process with a medium sized disc until all available juice and pulp has been extracted. If you do not have a food mill, place plums and liquid into a sieve or strainer and push through with a spoon to extract the pulp and juice. Discard the peel.
4. Add the plum mixture to the sugar syrup. Add the gin, Crème de Cassis and lemon juice. Stir to combine and cool in the refrigerator until fully chilled or overnight.
Freezing the Sorbet:
Electric Ice Cream machine: Process by manufacturer’s instruction.
Without a machine: Place sorbet in a shallow freezer-proof pan. Allow to almost freeze, and stir the mixture. Repeat the freeze/stir process a few times to ensure a consistent texture. The alcohol prevents the sorbet from a completely rock hard freeze allowing the mixing not to be too difficult.
This sorbet is refreshing with depth of flavor and the most beautiful raspberry color from the plum skins (the flesh of this variety plum is yellow). Whether providing a respite from Mother Nature’s heat or a celebration of seasonal plums, it’s a total winner.