In order to have light, fresh dessert after all the pastry and cream, I decided to try and make a sorbet and like a lamb to the slaughter, I raided The Complete Book of Desserts (Ann Seranne, 1954) again. I’ve had my eye on this for a while – it looks foolproof, yes?
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups water
Juice of a lemon
Juice of an orange
¼ cup rum
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved ginger
1 egg white Italian meringue
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water.
Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for five minutes
Combine syrup, fruit juices, rum and ginger
Turn into a refrigerator tray
Freeze until consistency of fine snow
Make Italian meringue and stir in the rum mixture
Spoon into parfait glasses and freeze until serving time.
Makes 2 quarts
- I used the sugar I had in the house – which means white sugar to make the meringue, and half soft dark brown and half white to make the syrup. The syrup was a horrible shade of brown.
- I decided 2 tablespoons of preserved ginger was 4 chunks of about ¾ inch long each.
- I actually made it quite late at night and didn’t fluff it up with a fork until the following morning. I’m also not sure what a refrigerator tray is, so I used a plastic tub, and not a shallow one either. The frozen rum/juice/syrup mixture was fairly soft and very sticky after a night in the freezer. This made me optimistic.
- After work, I fluffed the sorbet again, made the Italian meringue and stirred the two together. The whole lot was now a pleasant, sandy colour, so don‘t make this and wear this season‘s neutrals on the same day – too matchy-matchy.
This was delicious and very popular with my guests. Freezing it mellowed the taste of the sugar, which had been quite strong, (I.e. I had been concerned it would be overly sweet). While the juice and brown sugar had combined to make the first taste in your mouth reminiscent of ginger ale, the rum and the heat of the tiny, chewy chunks of ginger provided a strong, lingering flavour. Unlike certain ice creams, just a couple of small scoops of this is quite sufficient (or maybe that was due to the size of our first course?). The sherbet’s texture was halfway between an icecream and a sorbet – I know that’s really obvious, but I’d never eaten sherbet before.
My only correction would be that I don’t think it needs Italian meringue for the body, just a whisked egg white should be fine. (Caution groups of people who shouldn’t eat raw egg!)
I’ll definitely make it again this summer, as the proportions worked so well. When I muttered something about a raspberry and kirsch version, my guests looked very keen.
Sherbet’ed by Elly