Once You Go Black...

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that, "The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost." While I'm all for appreciating one's significant other and not taking people for granted, I think Chesterton must not have eaten very much sorbet in his lifetime. Because what better way is there to foster an appreciation for any given fruit than to turn it into a bowl of icy, refreshing sorbet?

For me, sorbet has been a sort of gateway drug to the world of fruit; with enough sugar and a quick churn in the ice cream machine, I have come to enjoy the flavor of raspberries, which I previously never allowed to pass my lips in any context, and peaches, which I spent most of my life only eating from a can, preserved in light syrup. Though berries are still a tough sell for me on their own, I'm constantly on the lookout for new ways to incorporate peaches and nectarines into my summertime menu planning.

Over time, I've come to wonder if I could do the same thing with other fruits. Does sorbet truly have magical powers on the palate? It seemed like a worthy experiment.

With valuable freezer space being taken up by bags of frozen blackberries, I decided that there was no time like the present. Though I have won two new ice cream cookbooks from my favorite food blog, Serious Eats, since last summer, old habits died hard and I found myself looking to David Lebovitz, my favorite guru of frozen desserts for inspiration. The Perfect Scoop offered me a few different options to use up my blackberry stash, but I ultimately decided to go with with a combination of blackberry and lime, because limes are one of Justin's favorite fruits and we always have a substantial stock of them on hand.

Thankfully, I was able to enlist Justin's help with the usually interminable task of straining the seeds from the pureed fruit, and he demonstrated a surprising amount of skill with this chore. With his stronger arm muscles, he was able to work the puree through my fine-mesh sieve in a matter of minutes. Now that I know he can breeze through the most tedious part of sorbet-making with so much natural ease, we may just be eating sorbet more often around here -- it may be a dangerous skill for him to have!

I have to say though, this is not the recipe for blackberries to win me over. The lime flavor was very pronounced, and dominated everything. It was more of a purple lime sorbet than anything else, which might be fun for kids, but did little for me. This batch of sorbet was quite tart. It would make an excellent palate cleanser after a rich meal, and Justin adored the sour, citrus-y flavor, but it just wasn't my taste.

Going forward, I'd like to experiment with blackberries and peaches, perhaps, or maybe just a straight blackberry sorbet to see if I can get more into the unique flavor of this particular berry. If I'm in the market for a citrus-based sorbet (probably for Justin, or perhaps a dinner party), I'd probably stick with a single flavor there as well. In the meantime, Justin will just have to finish this batch of smooth, refreshing sorbet by himself, though I'm sure he won't mind too much...

Blackberry-Lime Sorbet
adapted from David Lebovitz

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
4 c. blackberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 9 limes
1 tablespoon vodka

1. In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Puree the blackberries in a blender or food processor with the sugar syrup. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, then stir in the lime juice into the sweetened puree.
3. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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