Thursday, 05 November 2009
I’m thumbing my nose at the cold weather and posting a very special frozen dish — Concord Grape Sorbet. Ever since I read how chef Johnny Iuzzini used his T-shirt and a broom handle to make Concord grape sorbet, I’ve been dying to try this dessert. But two weeks ago I was told the grapes were done until next fall. Then, by some small, unexplained miracle I dare not question, Peach Lady had four baskets of these purple beauties at her stall on Saturday. I bought two.
One sits in the freezer, waiting for a special occasion. How will I use this precious stash? I might use it to make a Concord Grape Pie, or more Concord Grape and Nectarine Butter. I might just eat them as frozen little balls of delight.
The other I transformed into this sorbet. Despite the Iuzzini anecdote, The Flavor Bible provided no recipe and suggested the best flavour combination for Concord grapes involved honey. So I sweetened the sorbet with a hint of honey and used Drambuie, a honey and scotch flavoured liqueur, to keep the sorbet soft.
The results? Intense and spectacular.
Even the cat liked it.
While I was setting up the shot, a little orange face entered the frame and started licking one of the scoops. Not sure “Cat-Approved” is going to sell this dish, but if you like the full-on flavour of Concord grapes, this sorbet remains true to the fruit. It’s not a sweet dessert, but more of an tart, intriguing after-dinner palate cleanser. It would go beautifully with a cheese platter if it didn’t melt so quickly.
So, do you like tart sorbets? Or are you a die-hard Orange Sherbet fan?
- 2 pounds Concord grapes
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp Drambuie
- Pop grapes out of their skins and into a medium-sized sauce pan.
- Pulse the skins in a food processor or chop finely. Do this so they will be easier to strain.
- Add skins to the pulp and bring to a boil. Cook until the grapes release their seeds
- Remove the seeds using a food mill or by pressing the cooked grapes through a coarse sieve.
- Stir in the honey and Drambuie.
- Chill until cold.
- Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.