Thursday, August 6, 2009

Red Currant Sorbet

I picked a basket of red currants from a friend's tree when I was visiting in Sudbury awhile ago. She said they are so easy to grow and "all you do" is buy the bush, dig a nice hole and fertilize the earth with some good compost, plant the shrub and in a year or two you have a nice crop of red currants! I just might do that. I have two kinds of plums growing here but no other fruit trees. I am going to try the same recipe again later in the fall with high bush cranberries and wild choke cherries that are so prolific this year.

I searched the net and found a recipe for sorbet that I wanted to try. The original called for 1 1/2 cup of sugar but I reduced it to one cup and still found it a bit on the sweet side.

Makes 6 servings

6 cups red currants - 1500 ml
3/4 cup - 1 cup sugar - 175 ml to 250 ml
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup Cointreau (or orange brandy) - 60 ml

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put red currants, stalks and all, into ovenproof dish. Add sugar, orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice. Cover with lid and bake about 45 minutes. The picture shows the currants after baking when they are soft, juicy and a bit pulpy.

2. Turn cooked fruit through a food mill. The advantage of a food mill is that it purées and sieves at the same time. I was lucky to get mine at a garage sale one year for $2. You can also use a blender but you will need to push the cooked fruit through a sieve to remove all the seeds and stalks afterwards.

You should have approximately 4 cups (a liter) of juice. The red from these currants is so intense it is almost surreal. Once the berries are juiced you can freeze the syrup and make sorbet or dessert sauces at a later date. Stir in the Cointreau before you finish sorbet.

3. Put sorbet mixture into ice cream maker to freeze. Store in an airtight container and keep in the freezer until serving. Garnish with some of the fresh berries and a sprig of mint. I would show you a picture of the finished product but it seems to have "disappeared" overnight. Teenagers are suspected.

Freezing Sorbet Without an Ice-Cream Maker:
Pour the sorbet into a metal bowl. Position in freezer and freeze until barely firm. Then either process in food processor or beat with electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to freezer container and freeze again until firm.

This sorbet has zero fat and sodium and is an good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C.
NUTRITION FACTS (per 125 ml serving): 230 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre. % Daily Values are 4% each vitamin A and calcium, 100% vitamin C and 6% iron.

© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Our next cooking class at Chapman's Landing is "Meal from Oaxaca" Southern Mexican cooking on Saturday August 29th. Please see my menu and register online at

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