Friday, June 29, 2012

Plum/Nectarine Sorbet

This year, we discovered we have a fruit tree in our backyard! I was pretty sure it was a plum tree but it *could* be a nectarine tree. I want to say i am sure but i'm not.

Either way, i love plums AND nectarines. I got hooked on nectarines when i was pregnant, and they are one of my favorites.

I looked up a lovely recipe for plum sorbet.

I didn't realize they would be so juicy fresh off the tree. I am learning that grocery store firmness isn't really replicated in your backyard. They were firm indeed on the outside, but i have never had such juicy fruit in my life. I made this sorbet twice last week. The first time, i cut fresh fruit and it made quite a mess. More than i expected. The juice ran down my arms to my elbows and dripped onto the floor, all over my blender, the counter tops, my shirt and pants... it was a huge sweet mess.

The second time i made it i experimented with freezing the fruit whole and then using a very sharp knife to cut it. On one hand, there was less mess. On the other hand, it is harder to blend up frozen fruit than fresh. I had to use a little bit of water to assist it and i cut some fresh fruit at the end to give it more juice for blending.

Here's the recipe:

2 ½ cups sliced plums, pits removed
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Grand Mariner (optional)

I used more plums, at least 3 cups. So i increased the sugar, to about 1/2 cup. I used Triple Sec instead of Grand Mariner. The liqueur is basically to keep it from getting too rock hard. It gives it a bit of softness.

You blend this all up together until smooth. The original recipe suggested that i strain out the large pieces of skin and discard them. The first time i made this, with the fresh fruit, the skins were negligible after blending. Using the frozen fruit, the skins were more prominent but i still didn't strain them out. You can do so if you like but when i eat a fruit i eat the skin, so it didn't bother me to have it in my sorbet. The pieces weren't very large at all so straining it just seemed like a mess and a bother.

I put the mixture into my ice cream maker and i let it go for about 40-50 minutes (this was with fresh fruit). The frozen fruit takes way less time. Maybe only 20 minutes. Your ice cream maker may be different, so use it according to your own directions.

The result was surprising. The fruit was so sweet fresh, and i thought the addition of the sugar might have made it extra sweet, but it was actually very tart. I personally like tart flavors, but you can always add more sugar if you like it sweeter. You could probably leave out the lemon juice. I liked it was it was.

The best part is that it's fat-free, and uses limited resources to make something that is cool and refreshing for this summer heat we're having! It was virtually free for me, since i had all the ingredients in my house and backyard!

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