Saturday, July 9, 2011

What to do with smashed raspberries

I like to ride my bike to the farmers’ market. That means putting the produce in my basket to get home. Sometimes things get jumbled. Eggs break, tomatoes puncture. Last week it was the berries that spilled out of their smart little carton and squished against the sides of their should-be protector.
Once washed clean of the gore, I separated the unbruised berries for freezer preservation (and the bloated, grey zombie berries for trasherization), and then paused. What to do with the crushed berries? They were battered, and would not last in the fridge or out. Jam was not an option (canning equipment only arrived yesterday(!)), and an immediate solution was needed. So I googled. The answer, it seemed, was sauce. Raspberry sauce! Sounds nice. Only, one needs something on which to put sauce.
So I sorbet-ed. Here’s how:
  • Step one: To create a simple syrup, heat one cup of water to a low boil and add ½ cup of sugar. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. (At this point I added a few spring of thyme to steep, but was disappointed with the extremely subtle flavor. Will add more next time.) Let cool.
  • Step two: Put washed, busted berries in blender. (Blend.) (I had close to a pint of need-to-use raspberries.)
  • Step three: Strain over a bowl.
  • Step four: Mix syrup (strained of herbs) with berry liquid.
  • Step five: Pour into a freezer-proof container, and freeze.
  • Step six: Interrupt the freezing process a few times, breaking the sorbet apart with a fork.
This was just the thing to end Mom’s birthday dinner. I made it a few days in advance, contributing to the low-prep meal of guacamole and Greek salad, and it still felt fancy and special.
The sorbet was not very smooth (due to lack of attention on my part, no doubt), so I called it a granita. Internet research has since showed that a few tablespoons of vodka will keep the sorbet from freezing into ice. I think a few tablespoons of tequila and limejuice would have made this into a nice raspberry margarita. You know that’s right.

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