This is no ordinary sorbet

Sometimes on the weekend, I turn on PBS. Because for most of the day on Saturday, I can get my fill of cooking shows. For some reason the kids and I watched Joanne Weir a week ago. I’d never seen her show before, so I was intrigued when she was teaching this pretty boy how to make pineapple sorbet and some veal dish. Then I had to explain to the girls what veal was. See, we pretty much were stuck on the pineapple sorbet from the beginning.

It is such an easy thing, to make sorbet. For every four cups of puree, you will need one cup of sugar. So whatever fruit you use, you can go by this golden rule and be OK.

I began with a whole pineapple. And I cut it up. There is no special way to do this. I usually chop the top and bottom off and then slice away at the peel. Cut in quarters and slice off the top of the triangle part, which is the core. You don’t want that in your mixture. You all know why. Chop up the remaining pineapple and place in the blender.

Oh yes, blend that pineapple up.

And then strain it. Pieces in your sorbet are not desirable.

Use a spoon to push the good stuff through the strainer.

Then one must add sugar. Again using the ratio 1 cup of sugar per 4 cups of puree. Our puree came out to be around 3 1/2 cups. So I added about 3/4 of a cup of sugar. I am not a fan of super-sweet. Pineapple can be sweet enough, so this is an entirely personal thing, this sugar addition.

Place a little puree in a pot with your sugar. On medium heat, melt the sugar into the mixture until it looks clear. Use a spatula or, your finger, to see if your sugar has melted. If it comes out looking grainy, then it’s not quite done. Return this sugar mixture back into the other puree and stir well. Let it cool in the fridge for 1 hour before putting it in your ice cream machine.

We are almost there. Making ice cream or sorbet is a painful process for us impatient people. After many, many minutes, about the time your ice cream maker sounds like it’s struggling to get through, it’s time to stop.

You will have very soft sorbet. Beautifully sweet, pineapple sorbet.

And now you have to put it in the freezer another hour or two for it to firm up. Which sucks. But this process will reveal why this step is necessary when we finish up the whole ensemble.

But if your freezer is like ours, you will not have nice, firm sorbet.

Oh well.

So, the end part. The part that got my oldest and I wondering. When Joanne drizzled olive oil and sprinkled fleur de sel on her pineapple sorbet. And the guy she was teaching looked in horror at her. WHAT? You put olive oil and salt on your sorbet? Yes, yes she did.

And let me tell you. It’s good. Very good. My eight year old liked it as well.

Pineapple Sorbet with extra virgin olive oil and fleur de sel

from Joanne Weir

Ingredients

1 pineapple

1 cup of sugar

Olive oil

fleur de sel

Method

  1. Place the pineapple in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract the puree. Discard the solids. Measure the puree and allow 1 cup (220g) sugar for every 1 litre (4 cups) puree.

  2. Place about 1 cup (250ml) of the fruit puree in a saucepan over medium heat. Add all the sugar and bring to simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Combine with the remaining pineapple puree. Chill for 1 hour until cold.
  3. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and freeze until frozen at the edges. Remove and beat with an electric beater. Pour back into the container and refreeze. Repeat 2 or 3 times, then freeze until firm. (Alternatively, churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.)
  4. To serve, scoop the sorbet into bowls, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over each bowl and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

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