Friday, September 24, 2010

plum lavender sorbet

I’m writing in my kitchen, with no internet connection, to post later. I decided to just go for what I really want: plum lavender sorbet.

I don’t have a recipe for this, but there’s a blueberry lavender gelato recipe in my book. I took the guidelines from there to prepare the lavender: two teaspoons steeping in two cups of hot water (instead of the milk it would be if I wanted to make gelato). After about fifteen minutes I’ll strain the lavender buds out and use the water and some sugar to make a lavender syrup. In the meantime, I’d better puree my plums and see how much volume I’m going to get out of them. None of the recipes in my book use plums at all, which leaves me at a bit of a loss to estimate the amount of sugar I should use to sweeten this sorbet. I’ll compare a few recipes and make a decision after I see how much puree I have.

Interesting; I’ve never cooked with lavender before. Apparently all (or most) of the purple bleeds out of the the buds when they’re steeped, leaving them a dull shade of green and tinging the water with purple. I haven’t finished cutting up the plums yet. I probably should have left some of them another day or two so they could ripen a bit more, but I was impatient. I’m sure they’re close enough.

Plum puree looks delicious. I was right to leave the skins in - the color is a lot richer than it probably would have been otherwise. Besides, plum skins have a lot of flavor. And, let me see… mmm, yes. Plum puree also tastes delicious. It’s pretty thick, too. And there’s lots of it. I didn’t need to buy this many plums. That’s ok, though; I’ll use some of it for this recipe and set the rest aside for another.

Yes, now that it’s strained I have enough plum puree for two recipes of this stuff. I’ve got the lavender syrup starting on the stove. Once it boils for just a minute, I’ll need to let it cool before I can combine it with the plums, and then let the whole thing chill for at least eight hours before putting it in the machine. Since I don’t intend to stay awake until 1 am, that means I’ll be finishing this in the morning before work.

It’s morning! I just poured the sorbet mix into the machine, set the timer for 25 minutes, and started it up. The last batch of sorbet I made was well frozen within that amount of time. It was also less sorbet, so we’ll see if it’s enough time for this batch. I have a couple containers chilling in the freezer so the finished sorbet won’t melt when I scoop it into them to store. And now it’s just time to wait.

Success! I love it, it tastes excellent! I can’t decide what to do with the rest of the plum puree! Should I make plum lavender gelato? Should I make just plain plum gelato? Is there another flavor I should try mixing the plum with? I’m too excited about the sorbet to decide! My favorite flavor from the Bent Spoon, recreated in my own kitchen through adapted recipes and guesswork. I feel triumphant. But next time I think I will wait for the plums to ripen a tiny bit more. And maybe also try adding a tiny bit of lemon juice to the puree. That seems to help maximize fruity flavors, and I know it helps apples keep their color, so maybe it would do that for plum puree as well. I want to start on my next project, but I don’t have time to cook a custard base before work. Especially when I haven’t decided if I want to use more lavender in it or not. I feel like I should do something to add to the flavor… I will brainstorm other options.

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