Sorbet is the French name for sherbet, long popular as a cooling sweet made from fruit juice, liqueur or wine. Sorbets are so versatile, they can be served as a first course, between courses as an intermezzo, or as dessert. The Champagne added before freezing creates an interestingly flavored sorbet. Use about 1 cup alcohol to 1 pound of fruit or two cups of fruit juice. Note: In some regions apricots may not be ready until later in the Spring, so feel free to substitute with a locally available fruit that is in season.
1 pound fresh, ripe, unblemished apricots (or other local, seasonal fruit)
½ cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup Champagne
Peel the apricots and cut into wedges. Place apricot wedges, sugar and champagne in a blender or food processor, and blend until puréed. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions, or place in the freezer for 3 hours, stirring 3 times during freezing. A well-made sorbet will have a soft, smooth consistency.
[Chef’s Note: This sorbet is easy to make. When the sorbet comes out of the ice cream maker, it can be eaten immediately, although it will be very soft. For a firmer consistency, transfer it to a freezer container and freeze for two to three hours to allow the sorbet to harden. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in a large metal pan, stirring occasionally as it begins to freeze. However, the texture will be fairly icy. If sorbet is too hard, it can be crushed and served as a granita.]
Recipe and photo by Melissa De Leon Douglass