A couple of years ago, I had great luck making a cherry buttermilk sherbet. The only ice cream maker I had at the time was a large and clunky (but beautiful) turquoise vintage hand-crank one. I didn’t pull it out of our storeroom and instead just froze it and whisked it a bit and as luck would have it, it was a tasty success. But now I’ve got an electric ice cream maker and it’s so easy to try out crazy flavour combinations on a whim. So far I’ve had great luck with Mexican chocolate ice cream, coconut cherry chocolate frozen yogurt and bourbon buttermilk ice cream. So when the BC Blueberry Council came a-knocking at my door with containers of fresh, local BC blueberries I figured I’d try my hand at another wacky but elegant flavour combination. Thanks BC Blueberries!
The previous evening we had cracked open a bottle of riesling and we had a bit left in the bottle so I figured I’d add it to the mix. The rosemary came about because the rosemary growing on our balcony was looking full and lush so I plucked off a stem and got to work. I whipped up a quick sugar syrup and added in the rosemary to infuse for a couple of hours. This recipe doesn’t use up all the rosemary syrup, so go ahead and use it in a cocktail – I think this would be perfect in a Pimm’s Cup or blackberry smash (here’s a recipe for something similar).
The fresh blueberries get blended along with the rosemary syrup and the white wine. I chose to strain out the blueberry skins for a smoother texture, but that’s up to you, but I like the strained version much better. The mixture then heads to the fridge for a bit of a chill before churning. I liked this best right out of the machine – it’s soft and smooth and it gets a little sloppy in the best way. But you might want to give it an hour or two in the freezer to firm up a bit. So how did it taste? Pretty wonderful and quite elegant. The rosemary is subtle but definitely there – if you want a stronger flavour, let the sugar syrup infuse longer. The riesling is quite nice with the blueberries and I’m sure a chardonnay would be lovely too. Just use a nice wine, one you’d use for drinking.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret! This makes perfectly elegant popsicles for the grown-up set (just skip the cool-down stage). And you can make sorbet by freezing the mixture in a metal tray and giving it a whisk every now and then until it gets to the texture you like best.
elsewhere: Check out this summery Sweet Pepper & Cauliflower salad recipe over at Poppytalk. The recipe is adapted from David Tanis so you know it’s delicious.
blueberry sorbet with riesling & rosemary
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 medium stem of rosemary
3 c fresh blueberries
1/3 c riesling
pinch black pepper
In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar until sugar melts. Add rosemary and let the mixture cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, though 4 might be just right. Remove rosemary.
Add the blueberries, riesling and black pepper to a blender and give it a whirl. Pour in 1/3 cup of the rosemary sugar syrup and blend again until well mixed. Strain mixture into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer and let the mixture cool, covered, in the fridge for about an hour, where it will become strangely gelatinous. If you are making popsicles, skip the cooling part and just pour into your popsicle maker & freeze overnight.
Pour blueberry mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Eat immediately if you like a soft sorbet or freeze for 2 hours before eating.