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November 8, 2017

A to Z of Homemade Ice Cream: Crème de Cassis & Blackberry Sorbet

by Julieta Lucca

When I was a kid, I rarely missed out on the opportunity to taste new foods and flavours.

Every time my parents had friends over for dinner, I would make the most of those moments and ensure I tried and tasted all the food being served.

One of my mother’s staple desserts was a ball of lemon sorbet served in a coupe and doused in champagne, also known as “Lemon Champ”. This memory together with my favourite gelato flavour Zabaglione, is the pinnacle of my childhood.

This sorbet is a take on the dessert my mom used to serve but instead of going with a lemon sorbet, I made a Blackberry sorbet spiked with Crème de Cassis.

Crème de Cassis (also known as sirop de cassis) is a traditional French, rich, dark and sweet liqueur made from blackcurrants. It’s most notable use is to make Kir Royale, in which 1 part of Cassis is added to a champagne flute, followed by 9 parts of Champagne.

The Cassis and Blackberry sorbet is refreshingly tangy and sweet, the addition of the champagne smoothes it out while adding an extra layer of acidity to counteract the sweetness of the sorbet.

ingredients

🕑 2 days

  • serves 6
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 500g fresh blackberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml liqueur de crème de cassis
  • 1 bottle of champagne / prosecco / cava

method

– Begin by having all your ingredients out and ready to be used. This will help you follow the recipe smoothly without missing any steps. Remember to place the bowl of your ice cream machine in the freezer.

– Place the sugar and water into a saucepan over a medium heat. Dissolve the sugar in the water until it becomes a simple syrup.

– Add the blackberries to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. This will help the fruit break down so it blends better. Once done, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool down.

– Add the cooled mixture of simple syrup and blackberries to a blender or food processor and blend until no chunks of fruit are left. Strain the mixture into a bowl with the help of a metal sieve, pushing all the juices through with the back of a spoon. The seeds and unprocessed pulp will be left on the sieve, feel free to discard or use as you wish.

– Add the lemon juice to the strained mixture, mix well. Now add the Crème de Cassis and mix once again until evenly combined. Let the mixture cool down before you taste it, does it need more Crème de Cassis? Feel free to add more.

– It’s important to check the sugar levels of the mixture before you begin churning and ultimately placing the sorbet in the freezer. In order to see this, you can use this handy tip from The Kitchn.

Clean and dry a whole large egg, lower it into the mixture while still in its shell. You should be able to see a 50p sized round of shell above the liquid. This means that you have achieved a perfect balance of juice and sugar. If you see less shell, add in a little more simple syrup (sugar and water – repeat step 2). If you see a lot more shell, add a bit more water.

– Once you are happy with your mixture and it has the right balance of juice and sugar, cover it with cling film and let it cool in the fridge overnight.

– When you are ready to churn, place the bowl of your ice cream machine in the machine, together with all the accessories, ready to be used. Add the chilled sorbet mixture to the bowl of the machine and start churning until it becomes thick and resembling the texture of sorbet.

– Place the sorbet in a freezable container covered with a lid or kitchen foil and in the freezer to freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

– Once you are ready to serve, scoop 3 balls of the sorbet into a coupe and top with champagne. Enjoy as a palate cleanser or as dessert.

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