(CBS) For a guilt-free dessert, it's hard to beat sorbet. All you need is sweet summer fruit (and a splash of champagne) for a cool, creamy treat.
This week, farmer's markets in New York were filled with tiny sugar plums, bite-size beauties with a concentrated sweetness and big plum punch. Hudson Valley grower Fishkill Farms explained they were Oishiwase plums, a delicate Japanese variety available just a few weeks a year.
Bursting with juice, sugar plums are perfect for sorbet. But any juicy plum will work - the riper the better. Simply blend the fruit with a little sugar and champagne, strain, and churn.
The key to successful sorbet is the alcohol, which keeps the consistency silky. In 20 minutes, this batch churned up thick and smooth like ice cream, and was devoured just as quickly.
For an added touch, top small scoops of sorbet with a clove and sprig of mint or basil for an elegant, fresh-picked feel.
5 cups very ripe sugar plums, pitted (8 to one cup)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon champagne
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
In a blender or food processor combine sugarplums and 1/2 cup water. Cover and blend or process until pureed. Press plum mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard pulp.
To make simple syrup: Mix sugar and water together in a small pan over a low heat, and bring up to boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and cool completely.
To Make Sorbet: In a large bowl, combine strained plum mixture, champagne, and 1/2 cup of the cooled simple syrup. Continue to add syrup 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired sweetness, which will depend on the ripeness of your fruit.
Chill mixture at least 1/2 hour in freezer, until temperature reaches around 40 degrees. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Freeze for at least two hours to set before serving.
To Serve: Chill your serving dishes in the freezer for 10 minutes. To form the sorbet in round balls, drag a cold ice-cream scoop across the longest even surface of sorbet. Place the sorbet ball on the chilled serving dish, and return to freezer for 10 more minutes. When ready to serve, gently press a clove and a small herb leaf (mint or basil work well) into the top of the scoop, and serve your sorbet "fruit."
Makes 1 pint, Serves 4
Total Fat 0.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 324.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Sugars 37.1 g
Protein 1.4 g