Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cassis (aka Blackcurrant) Sorbet (now with pics!)

If you asked me what my favorite ice cream is, I'd have a hard time answering. There are a lot that I really, really like.
But for sorbet, it's a different matter. I do have a favorite - cassis sorbet, especially the one they make at Bertillon, in Paris.

A lot of people like sorbets to be refreshing. Not me. I want one that hits hard, that's so full of flavor that you're even a little tired after eating it. No sorbet can do that like cassis.

Cassis - aka blackcurrant - isn't too popular a flavor in the states. So I haven't had much luck making the sorbet. You can buy cassis nectar in some places, and I've made sorbet with that; it's ok, but it's not the same. So when Heidi brought down a whole bunch of blackcurrants last week from Massachusetts, I knew what I wanted to do with them.

I wasn't sure how, though. I'd never worked with them. I was planning on just boiling them down, the way I used to make strawberry sorbet. But then I read something that said not to cook them too much, or they'd lose their flavor. Meanwhile, they've got these little things on the ends that don't look like they'd be very good in the final product.

In the end, I decided to put the blackcurrants in the blender, then strain them (kind of a hassle), then add simple syrup until it was sweet enough. I also added some creme de cassis, and some lemon juice. Later on, when it didn't taste sweet enough or quite right, I squeezed some orange juice in. When it tasted right, I chilled it, then took it for a spin in my ice cream maker.

The result?
I can't say it's as good as Bertillon.
I can say, though, that it's really, really good. It's got so much flavor, more than any sorbet I've ever made.


Almost American said...

The only time I ever tried to make any kind of sorbet I made blackcurrant sorbet. VERY intense flavour - a little went a long way!

You say you got the blackcurrants from somewhere in Massachusetts. PLEASE tell me where!! I have never ever seen any for sale here! (What I would really like are some blackcurrant bushes!)

Noah said...

They're from Western Mass - Gt. Barrington, actually. Some people we know were growing them; there was an NYT article not long ago about increased cultivation, though. So there is hope for the future.