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Plum Sorbet

I read a great post on Chowhound about making peach sorbet. The poster determined that a minimal churning time would produce the creamiest, best tasting sorbet. I, not having given a tremendous amount of thought to the issue before, would have guessed that a longer churning time would produce a creamier result. Always game for an experiment, I tried the short churning method with a plum base.
This may only be true of non-custard based sorbets, but I got great results and completely agree with the original poster. My plum sorbet was dense, creamy and delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted an ice cream, sorbet, or gelato that tasted so wonderfully like the fresh fruit. It was also very easy to whip up. You do have to blanch the plums to remove their skin, but everything else in done in the blender. Depending on how large your plums are, you may need more plums. Mine were large and I used 7 or 8 to make 4 cups of plum puree.

If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour puree into a shallow pan or bowl and stir with a fork every hour, to break up the ice crystals, until mixture is frozen.

It’s very refreshing by itself, but for an delicious and elegant dessert, serve in a glass with some prosecco or a bit of sweet white wine poured over it.

Plum Sorbet
7-10 plums, blanched, skins removed
5 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Chop plums coarsely to remove pits. Combine plums, sugar and water in a blender and process until smooth. You should have about 4 cups of plum mixture.
Pour into your ice cream maker and process until it just begins to look creamy, roughly 1/2-1/3 of the time that would ordinarily be required by your machine (about 15 minutes).
Freeze, covered, until ready to use.

Note: You can also use pluots for this recipe (a hybrid plum/apricot that is just delicious!).

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  • Jessica
    September 5, 2005

    I made an excellent grape sorbet that a Chowhounder mentioned! It’s on Epicurious.com. I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I added 1 T vodka to lower the freezing point, froze it in a bowl, then pulsed it in a food processor. After two days, it’s still easily scoopable and delicious!

  • Alanna
    September 5, 2005

    Another quick trick for fruit sorbets is to use 3c juice — mango, papaya, peach, etc (I find these in aseptic packages at a little intl grocery that’s nearby but might be available at a more typical supermarket too — w 2/3 c corn syrup and 2T lime juice and then simply process. SOOOO easy. I even mix the ingredients right in the processor. AK

  • Ana
    September 5, 2005

    I do have an ice-cream maker. I might give it a try. Funny, the booklets on the ice-cream maker usually concentrate on the custar-like ice-creams.

  • violet
    September 5, 2005

    this confirms that i need an ice cream maker. i’m hesitating to buy any more heavy appliances until i move to san francisco, though. but that sorbet is truly beautiful.

  • Cathy
    September 6, 2005

    Ooo, I have to try this. I’ve hardly ever made anything (sorbet or ice cream) that is still scoopable after two days!

  • Alice
    September 6, 2005

    What a beautiful color!! Sounds divine…and I’ll have to give the lesser churning amount time idea a try!

  • Nic
    September 6, 2005

    Jessica – Good thinking! Oh that reminds me that the original recipe for the peach sorbet had two tbsp of white wine added. I used water (not opening a bottle for two tbsp) instead and it was still scoopable.

    ak – Thanks for the tip! Those pre packed fruit purees/juice are very useful in the kitchen.

    Ana – I wonder if they think that people don’t like sorbets as much as ice creams….

    Violet – Well, holding off on new appliances until moving is never a bad idea. I should tell you, though, that mine is very light. The freezer bowls are a bit heavy, but the machine itself probably weighs about 2 lbs (It’s a cuisinart).

    Cathy – I’ve had lots that freeze into rocks right after they come out of the machine. The worst was this pear gelato…(shudder)…

    Alice – Let me know if it works out!

  • Shauna
    September 10, 2005

    Oh goodness, now I HAVE to make this sorbet. Thanks for including some recipes that don’t involve baking. I mean, I adore baking, but now that I have to eat gluten-free, it’s harder to look at your lavish photos. But this one? Wow.

  • Nic
    September 10, 2005

    Shauna – I’m glad you can try this one. But that is a good point. I haven’t done much with alternative flours, but I have been meaning to. Don’t be suprised if you see one here soon!

  • Bruce
    September 10, 2005

    I made plum sorbet a few months ago, with plums fresh off the tree in the side yard. Pretty firm, so I simmered the plums before peeling and de-stoning.

    This not only let me use the fruit to make a wonderful sorbet (and over a dozen jars of plum jam), but the simmering-water came out strongly enough flavored that, with some sweetening added, it could be drunk as a great plum tea.

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