My Greek friend Eleni, whom I know since childhood, recently came to visit us in London, and being a foodie herself she brought me this amazing culinary gift, a necklace with a little cooking pot, fork and spoon. I thought it was adorable and I had to share it with you here! It seems Greek artists/jewellers are becoming more and more inventive, and my friend told me that she also bought a similarly-themed ring for herself (can't wait to see it when I next go to Athens!).
While Eleni was here, she indulged in her love of "fruit-that-can-not-be-found-in-Greece", meaning raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and so on, but her definite favourite being raspberries, and having just bought a brand new ice cream machine, I got inspired and made my first ice cream creation - a raspberry sorbet.
Sorbets are quite basic recipe-wise, and usually consist of three ingredients, water, sugar and the fruit of choice. I wanted this to be a bit more exciting than plain raspberry-flavoured, so I infused the sugar syrup with some lime zest and added some fruity alcohol for an extra bit of yum! Since raspberries are in season, I managed to find some overripe ones in the "reduced to clear" section of my supermarket, and grabbed two packs for 60p each! It worked even better for me, as the raspberries were as ripe as I wanted them (a bit too ripe to eat perhaps, but perfect for mashing) and the sorbet ended up being much cheaper and of course much tastier than shop-bought. I was really happy when my friend's husband-to-be told me it was even better than the one he had in Scoop, which I consider one of the best places to have ice cream in London. (By the way, they need to update their website with the calendar for the 2010 events, as we went there for the "molecular gelato" day and were a bit disappointed that there was no Heston Blumenthalesque shenanigans going on.
All in all this took me about an hour to make, 30 minutes preparation and 30 minutes in the ice cream machine. It was extremely good, probably the best sorbet I've tried in my life and it disappeared very quickly. The ice cream machine I got was a bit expensive (about £60 including postage), but if you love ice cream and sorbets it's worth investing in one. The freshness of the ice cream is incomparable, and you can make whatever flavours you like, without being restricted by the limited variety of shop-bought ones. Now that I got the hang of it, prepare for a summer of sorbet and ice cream posts, I can't praise this machine enough!
Raspberry, lime and kirsch sorbet
Source: dulcis in fundo
Makes about 800ml
- 190g sugar
- 200g water
- 300g ripe raspberries
- 3 big chunks of lime peel (equal to the peel of 1/3 of a lime)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- A big glug of kirsch (according to taste, I put 5 tbsp in mine)
Put the water, sugar and lime peel in a saucepan and warm up until the sugar has melted. Boil for 1 minute and set aside to cool. After it's cooled a bit add the lime juice, move it to a suitable container (I use a plastic measuring jug) and put it in the freezer, so it can cool quickly.
Clean the raspberries of any "bad" bits (if required) and wash thoroughly. Put in a blender and liquidise. Pass through a thin sieve, squishing out all the flesh with a spoon and scraping around until only the seeds are left. A lot of recipes skip this step and put the raspberries whole, but I think it's really worth going the extra mile, as the seedless sorbets are so much smoother and melt-in-the-mouth than the ones containing seeds.
Remove the lime peel from the sugar syrup and add the raspberry pulp and kirsch. Put in the freezer again until cool. Pour into your ice cream machine, or if you don't have one (and it's definitely worth the money if you like ice cream and sorbets, trust me!) put in a freezable container (preferably metal) and freeze for 1 hour, then take out, squash with a fork and refreeze, repeating the process every half an hour or so.