Sherbets

Sherbets

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Photographer
Mark Roper

Fruit sherbets — cordials — are thought to have originated with the Persians, who for many centuries have made use of compressed snow and ice from the mountains, which was stored in ice houses, then crushed and mixed with fruit syrups or distillations made from myriad fruit, blossoms, herbs and spices. This idea spread westward in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and gave rise to the refreshing fruit sorbets associated with European kitchens.

Mint and vinegar sherbet

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Combine 350 g sugar and 400 ml water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 160 ml apple vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon and 12 sprigs mint and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. When cold, fish out and discard the mint leaves, transfer the sherbet to a sterilised bottle, then seal and store in a cool place. It keeps well. To serve as a refreshing summer drink, mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts chilled water or soda water. Top with ice, garnish with fresh mint leaves and Granny Smith apple slivers, if you like, and serve straight away. Makes 400 ml.

Rhubarb–rosewater sherbet

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Combine 500 g roughly chopped rhubarb and 400 g sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan and leave to macerate for 1 1/2 hours. Add 250 ml water and bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain through a piece of muslin or clean Chux, return the strained juice to the pan and add the juice of 1 lime. Boil for 10–15 minutes until the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. When cold, stir in 2 tablespoons rosewater and a few rose petals (optional) and transfer to a sterilised bottle. Seal and store in a cool place. It keeps well. To serve as a refreshing drink, mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts chilled water or soda water. Top with ice, garnish with edible flowers, if you like, and serve straight away. Makes 400 ml.

Quince–lime sherbet

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Core, peel and dice 1 large quince. Combine with 400 g sugar in a large saucepan and leave to macerate for 1 1/2 hours. Add 250 ml water and bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain through a piece of muslin or clean Chux, then return the strained juice to the pan and add 1 split vanilla bean and 100 ml lime juice. Boil for 10–15 minutes until the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Transfer the cold syrup and vanilla bean to a sterilised bottle, then seal and store in a cool place. It keeps well. To serve as a refreshing drink, mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts chilled water or soda water. Top with ice, garnish with edible flowers, if you like, and serve straight away with a twist of lime. Makes 400 ml.

Bitter orange sherbet

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Put 500 ml freshly squeezed orange juice and 600 g sugar into a nonreactive pan and heat gently, stirring from time to time, until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, add the juice of 1 lemon and simmer for 10 minutes without stirring. Skim off any froth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. When completely cold, store in the fridge. It keeps well. To serve as a refreshing drink, mix 1 part syrup with 3 parts chilled water or soda water. Top with ice, garnish with edible flowers, if you like, and serve straight away. If you like, use Seville oranges for a slightly less sweet cordial. Makes about 800 ml.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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