Easy peach sorbet

Perfect peachesIt’s peach season in Turkey, and I am in heaven. During our road-trip down Turkey’s west coast, the roadsides were all but strewn with peaches just begging to be eaten. I was happy to acquiesce.

During my favourite stop on this trip – in a tiny town called Kaleköy, perched on the side of a cliff accessible only by boat – we ate some amazing homemade peach ice cream. After all the double chocolate Magnums I’ve been eating lately, this was a nice change – but it did make me think, I could’ve made this.

When we got back to Istanbul, given that a) we still have no oven and I’m dying to try something new and b) it’s peach season and c) it’s really freaking hot here, I decided to try making peach sorbet.

In a past life, I used to make berry sorbet regularly when we had guests. It’s unbelievably quick and easy. There’s no need for an ice-cream maker, no need for any fancy kit. All you need is fruit, sugar, water and a freezer-proof Tupperware with a lid.

 

What you need

1 kg of the ripest peaches you can find, pitted, roughly peeled and chopped

1 cup caster sugar (you probably won’t need all of this, depending on how ripe your peaches are)

1 cup water

Zest and juice of a lemon

How to

  1. Bring water and half the sugar to the boil in a pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. You don’t need to boil this for long, just until all the sugar is gone.
  2. Add the roughly chopped peaches and simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how ripe the peaches are. The more soft and ripe they are, the less they’ll need cooking.
  3. Remove from heat, add juice and zest of lemons and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Check the sugar levels now, taking care not to burn your mouth. If the poached peach mixture doesn’t taste sweet enough for your liking (which can happen if you’re using unripe peaches, for example), at this point you had heat up the mixture again to dissolve some more sugar in it. I like my sorbets quite tart, so am in favour of adding the sugar only gradually, but if you prefer super-sweet then you can add all the sugar at the start.
  5. Once you’re satisfied, puree the fruit until smooth using a handheld blender or food processor.

The next step is key. You don’t want to just freeze the mixture in one go, or you’ll end up with a very large, very peachy ice cube. The key to a nice slushy sorbet is to freeze it in stages, mixing every couple of hours to prevent big ice crystals from forming (this is why ice cream is traditionally made in a churn – the constant movement stops the mixture freezing solid, giving it a nice smooth, creamy texture instead.)

  1. Pour the peach puree into a Tupperware and freeze for 2-3 hours until it’s frozen around the edges.
  2. Remove from the fridge and beat the frozen bits into the middle with a spoon. Really smash up any frozen parts, scraping all the icy bits off the sides of the Tupperware and bringing them into the middle.
  3.  Return to the freezer and repeat steps 6 and 7 at least once more. Twice is better, but I appreciate that might be more faff than you can handle.
  4. When you’re ready to serve the sorbet, remove from the freezer half an hour ahead of time, and give it a stir once more.
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