It’s April – time to shed the heavy coats of winter and lighten up physically and figuratively. This also applies to desserts. Although I love chocolate opera cakes and rich cheesecakes just as much as the next dessert-loving human being, I do feel like spring is a good time to explore lighter recipes. This blackberry sage sorbet is a perfect example. Its intense fruit flavor and almost creamy texture makes dessert still feel special without being heavy. It’s a refreshing way to end a summer meal. The addition of sage adds another layer of flavor that compliments the blackberries beautifully.
I wish I could take credit for this ingenious combination but this recipe is courtesy of Jami Martino, a chef and friend, who is teaching a culinary course at Houston Community College (HCC) downtown campus this spring. I had the pleasure of tasting this sorbet as part of the lunch series Jami’s students host each Thursday during the semester. The weekly lunch service allows the students to practice working in a restaurant setting while giving diners the opportunity to enjoy a gourmet lunch at an amazing price. At $15 for a 6 course lunch, it’s the best deal in town. The prix fixe menu changes weekly and offers an appetizer, soup, salad, intermezzo, entrée, and dessert course. The week I visited, I had mussels marinières, beef consommé royale, crab and grapefruit salad with citrus vinaigrette, this blackberry sage sorbet, coffee rubbed grilled flank steak with garlic mashed potatoes and broccolini, and mixed berry shortcake for dessert. Every course was expertly prepared and delicious. I highly recommend attending one of these lunches if you’re in the Houston area. If you would like to make reservations or want to know more about upcoming menus, contact Jami at jamie.martino1 (@) hccs.edu.
This blackberry sage sorbet is the first of a trio of fruit-herb based sorbets I have planned. My husband reminded me that we also have a recipe for a lovely grapefruit mint sorbet that I’ll post in a couple of weeks. So, stick around – summer desserts are just getting started.
- 20 ounces ripe blackberries, either fresh ones or frozen and thawed ones (I used frozen/thawed ones)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ ounce fresh sage, leaves and tender stems (about a small bundle)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- In a blender, purée blackberries until smooth. Strain blackberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a 4-cup glass measuring cup, rubbing it through with a rubber spatula. Discard the remaining seeds and solids. You should have about 2⅓ cups blackberry purée. Set aside.
- Combine water, sugar, and sage over medium high heat. Heat mixture until it just begins to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain sugar syrup into a large bowl. Stir in blackberry purée and lemon juice until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions until sorbet is the consistency of thick slush. Then, transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm before serving, 3 to 4 hours.