03 Nov Concord Grape Sorbet
The comments are rolling in in response to the cookbook give away. Your fabulous ideas make me want to rent a delightful, impractically located venue and throw a great big bash. (If you missed the post, Rose Murray’s wonderful A Taste of Canada is up for grabs. To enter the draw, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me how I should celebrate the new blog.)
Riding the wave of your enthusiasm, 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 a 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 the grapes out of their skins and into a medium-sized non-reactive sauce pan.
- Place the skins in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. The finer the skins are chopped, the easier they will be to strain.
- Add skins to the pulp and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Cook until the grapes release their seeds.
- Remove the seeds by placing a fine mesh sieve over a non-reactive bowl and pressing the grape mixture through using the back of a large ladle. Discard the seeds. Stir in the honey and Drambuie.
- Chill the mixture until cold. About 20 minutes before you're ready to churn, place the sorbet in the freezer to get really cold.
- Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. The sorbet may need to be returned to the freezer for a while to firm up.