Something of a classic during British summertime, a good blackcurrant sorbet is fresh, sharp and bursting with flavour. My version is soft, yielding and scoopable straight from the freezer. Pure frozen refreshment.
- 375 g Blackcurrants fresh or frozen
- 300 ml Water
- 225 g White sugar granulated or caster
- 1 Egg white
Make the Sorbet Base
Put the blackcurrants, sugar and water into a medium-sized heavy-based pan and cook over a moderate heat to dissolve the sugar
Turn up the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, until the fruit is soft and can easily be crushed with the back of a wooden spoon
Allow to cool then pass through a fine-meshed metal sieve suspended over a large bowl to extract the liquid and soft flesh but leave behind the skin & pips. Use a metal spoon to crush and push the fruit through the sieve. Keep on turning and pushing until a thick residue of pulp remains in the sieve but very little liquid
When finished, wipe the back of the sieve with the spoon, to dislodge the final bits of puree and give the contents of the bowl a good stir. It will look like a thick syrup (or a very thin puree)
Discard the pulp
Once completely cool, cover the syrup and chill for 3-4 hours in the fridge
Churning Using a Machine
When ready to churn, follow the instructions for your ice cream maker
When the sorbet is beginning to hold it’s shaping whisk the egg white until nicely frothy and pour into the mix then continue to churn until firm
Decant into a freezer-proof container, cover with parchment and freeze for several hours
Churning By Hand (see notes)
Pour the syrup into a freezerproof bowl and place directly into your freezer
After 1 hour, take it out of the freezer and use handheld beaters to mix the sorbet until smooth. This helps break down ice crystals
Return to the freezer for a further hour then repeat the above process
Keep on repeating every hour until the sorbet begins to firm up (around the fourth or fifth beating), then mix in the whisked egg white and return to the freezer
Repeat the freeze and beat process at hourly intervals 1 or 2 more times or until the sorbet reaches a good, scoopable consistency
Transfer to a suitable freezer container, cover with parchment and freeze until required
There is another method of churning without a machine. It's quite an easy, hands-off approach and not one I particularly like to use since the other methods listed here give superior results. However, for anybody short on time but desperate for sorbet:
- Pour the syrup into a lined swiss roll tin or similar (check it fits into your freezer) and freeze until firm
- Break up the sorbet and blitz in a blender until smooth
- Return to the freezer until solid again then blitz in the blender one more time
- Mix in the whisked egg white, pour into a suitable container, cover with parchment and return to the freezer for 3-4 hours to firm up
Vegan Blackcurrant Sorbet
You can by all means leave out the egg white to make this recipe vegan. The egg white is there to keep the sorbet soft and scoopable straight from the freezer, so expect the vegan version to be slightly firmer.
Adding one tablespoon of gin in place of the egg white is another option, since alcohol helps keep sorbets soft too, by lowering the freezing point of the syrup base. Just resist the urge to add more, since too much alcohol can prevent a sorbet from setting at all.
I would also advise against using both egg white and alcohol in this recipe, since it already soft set.
Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 209mg | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 144IU | Vitamin C: 113mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg