Monday, September 19, 2011

Merlot Fig Sorbet

Feels like it's been forever since I've blogged. I guess it has been. Unfortunately, by the time I get out of work and do everything I have to do, I don't have time for recreational baking! :(

Anyway, Emma tells me one day that she is upgrading her ice cream machine. I think she is crazy, but she offers me her "old one" so who am I to complain! ;) Her new machine is a monster and takes up half her counter space! (For those of you who do not know Emma, to say she loves to make ice cream is the biggest understatement.) So, when I finally had some free time to cook, I knew I had to try this bad boy out!

I noticed that figs were on sale at work and couldn't pass them by. I've loved figs for as long as I can remember. I used to eat them right off my grandmother's fig tree when she lived in Brooklyn and then when my Aunt Anna would harvest them and hand them out in egg cartons. Delicious! Naturally, I decided to make some fig sorbet.

It's been a while since I last made sorbet so I wanted to look for a recipe online. I couldn't find one that I really liked so I decided to throw caution to the wind and make up my own recipe. Typically, sorbets are just fruit puree and simple syrup. However, since figs have a mild flavor, I knew I wanted to use a complimetary flavor to give the sorbet some demension. The two flavors that came to mind were balsamic vinegar and merlot. The vinegar sounded a bit too aggressive for this, so I chose the latter.

I cut up the figs and tossed them into the merlot and added some sugar and a vanilla bean. I brought it to a boil and let the figs steep in the boozy goodness. After it cooled I pureed the mixture until smooth, ran it through a stainer and churned it.

Aside from the deafening noise, the machine is awesome! The sorbet came out good, too. I wish I had added a drop more sugar -to improve both the taste and the texture. Sorbet bases need to have the perfect amount of sugar content to come out just right. It is hard to tell if you have the correct amount of sugar unless you have a tool called a refractometer. This device is used to measure sugar density. Had I had one, my sorbet would have come out perfect - so I got one! Until next time...