A sorbet base is a combination of sugar syrup and fresh fruit or juice. Since ripe fruits are naturally sweet, a sugar syrup made with 2 parts sugar to 3 parts water is usually a good ratio. Adding liqueur, such as framboise, to a raspberry sorbet base adds flavor. It also gives the sorbet a creamier texture because the alcohol lowers the freezing temperature slightly.
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 lb. ripe plums, halved and pitted
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brandy, preferably plum
Make the sugar syrup
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup just comes to a boil. Pour into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.
Prepare and churn the sorbet mixture
In a food processor, combine the chilled sugar syrup, the plums, lemon juice and brandy and process until a smooth puree forms, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Freeze the sorbet
Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container, press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface to help keep the freshness and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days. Let the sorbet soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 1 quart.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).