Where I live, blackberries start to ripen in early July, sometimes late June. For me, this marks the real start of summer. Wild blackberries are one of my favorite summertime treats. And one of my favorite summertime activities. And anyone who’s picked wild blackberries knows the pleasure and pain of harvesting them!
Anyone who really knows me knows that I am on the hunt for new ways to use my blackberries. I’ve even made a wonderful blackberry wine and gave out beautiful bottles to friends and family.
This year, however, I had a bounty of blackberries we had forgotten in the freezer from last year. I considered making preserves from them, but I couldn’t bring myself to doing all the work of sterilizing jars. I know, how lazy can I be? Instead I decided on blackberry sorbet. What better treat for a hot summer day?
I put a lot of research into how sorbet is made, and I came up with a recipe that’s a mashup of several others and advice I found in various articles.
I served this to several friends and family. Everyone agreed it was delicious. I decided I’d easily do this again. Tip: Serve it with a bit of Cointreau drizzled over it. It’s AMAZING!
Blackberry Sorbet Recipe
There are two tricks to smooth sorbet that doesn't freeze hard and doesn't have tons of ice crystals to ruin the mouth feel.
The first trick is the amount of sugar. You're looking for 20%-30% sugar content. Sugar lowers the freezing point of the sorbet, and the result is a smoother sorbet that won't freeze hard.
The second trick is corn syrup. Corn syrup gives sorbet an incredible mouth feel. Trust me, I've tried with and without, and even a small amount of corn syrup makes a big difference. Use it.
A trick to making sure you have the right amount of sugar content is to try to float an egg in the liquid, after everything is combined and dissolved and cooled. Pour enough sorbet into a glass to float the egg (you don't want to accidentally break your egg in your sorbet!). You're looking for the egg to float enough to show about a dime or nickel size spot of the egg. If it does not, pour it back into the bowl with the rest of the sorbet liquid and add more corn syrup or simple syrup until you achieve the result we want! Of course, you could always buy a Brix refractometer for $28 (see below).
Finally, use the best fruit you can. Tart blackberries will make for tart sorbet. Use ripe blackberries that fall off the vine when you pluck them!
- Prep Time30 min
- Cook Time3 min
- Total Time33 min
- 4 cups blackberries
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
- 1⁄2 to 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup (Karo brand preferred)
Make sure the berries are clean. I typically run under cold water several times to remove the “prickles”.
In blender, combine berries, water and lemon juice and puree until smooth.
Push the mixture through a sieve. Take your time, we want to eliminate all the seeds but get as much of the mixture as we can.
Place the mixture in a saucepan and add 1/2c sugar and 1/4c corn syrup. Warm only until the sugar is dissolved. We want to avoid cooking the berries as much as possible. Cooked berries result in less fresh fruit flavor.
Pour mixture into a container and cool in the refrigerator, to chill completely. This step is important.
Test for sugar content using the egg trick described above.
Once you have reached optimal sugar content, freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker. If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze in a shallow pan. I have tried both, and both work fine.
Serve with a garnish of mint and a drizzle of Cointreau. Trust me, the Cointreau makes it an entirely new experience!