EMILY'S BLACKBERRY SORBET
A wild shrub of the rose family, the ripe fruit of the prickly scrambling blackberry vine tastes like summertime. While the thorns of a blackberry bramble must be negotiated with caution, there is great pleasure in picking your own juicy, almost citrus tasting, sun-kissed berries in July. The antioxidant and antibacterial health benefits of this briar patch delicacy led generals of the American Civil War to call temporary truces to allow Confederate and Union soldiers to forage for them. In Beatrix Potter's Tale of Peter Rabbit, it is Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail "who were good little bunnies" that feast on bowls of fresh blackberries, while their naughty sibling, Peter, catches cold and is fed a dinner of nothing more than chamomile tea. One of the most wonderful ways to preserve and intensify the flavor of one of nature's most perishable fruits is to make a limited ingredient sorbet. Refreshing with the perfect sweet tart balance and twice as many blackberries as most sorbet recipes, Emily's blackberry sorbet elegantly preserves the fruit in icy dessert form.
Packed and flash frozen at their peak, frozen blackberries may be used if you are craving this treat out of season. Pushing the blackberries through a strainer removes most of the seeds and some of the bitterness associated with them. However, this step may be ignored if the seeds are preferred for whole fruit and fiber enthusiasts.
1. In a blender or Vitamix, add the blackberries, 1/4 cup of the water, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Blend the fruit mixture into a purée.
2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Press the solids in the strainer with a wooden spoon to extract as much of the juice and pulp from the blackberries as possible until there is approximately 1 cup of purée.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups of water and the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
4. Stir the sugar mixture and lemon juice into the blackberry purée. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
5. Pour the sorbet mixture into an ice cream maker and continue according to the manufacturer's directions.
6. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and freeze until firm.
MAKES 1 QUART
5 cups fresh blackberries
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup superfine sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Mint garnish and a handful of fresh blackberries for serving, optional