I was gifted with a huge bowl of the most gorgeous plums last week. I couldn’t take my eyes off the fruit. They looked like the most beautiful summer sunset sitting right in my hands. I immediately began to envision what food might best showcase the color of these plums. My first thought was to juice them and make jelly, but it sure seemed like a lot of work for what might amount to 2 pints of finished product. And, I guess it’s ok to admit that my jelly ventures often result in pancake syrup.
I settled on sorbet. Simple. Easy. Beautiful. Unadorned. With no pesky ingredients to mix with and muddle the prettiness of the plums.
The end result was a very lovely pinky-orange dessert, with a delicious tart-sweet balance, and texture that only sorbet can give you.
As the title of the recipe states, the fruit given to me were Potawatomi plums, which I honestly can’t give you too much information about, except that in my neck of the woods, they were brought and planted by pioneers, along with countless other varieties of fruit trees. Not many people grow them on purpose, as they are considered pest trees, but one can still find a tree here and there, and they are usually very heavy-laden with fruit. Owners of these trees are always happy to share, and in spite of their small size, the plums were well worth pitting and made a very yummy sorbet. If you can’t find Potawatomi plums, try to find a more tart plum substitute. If you are just using regular plums, be prepared for a sweeter sorbet.
2 1/2 lbs. ripe, prepared plums (washed, halved, and pits removed. Don’t remove the skins. About three pounds before pitting)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons raspberry framboise (optional–helps give it a better consistency when frozen)
Place the fruit, water, and sugar in a large saucepan. On medium-heat, bring mixture to a simmer. Let cook for 10 minutes to soften the fruit and dissolve the sugar. This mixture doesn’t need to boil.
Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes before pureeing.
Depending on the size of your blender/processor, divide into batches to puree. Puree until quite smooth. There will be very, very small bits that make it into the final mixture, which helps add a great color to the sorbet, and there will be larger bits that you want to strain out.
Set a strainer over a large bowl. As you puree each portion, let it run through a strainer into a bowl to catch the bigger bits of peel.
Add the frambiose at this point, if using. Cover, and chill very well in refrigerator before freezing.
Freeze in whatever ice cream machine you use. If it holds 2 quarts or less, you might have to freeze it in two separate batches.
Serve right away if you like a soft sorbet, freeze if you want scoops.