Recipe-Blogging: Wineberry Saffron Sorbet
Traditionally, the Fourth of July is when the wild wineberry and blackberry vines (mostly wineberries, which are a bit of a controversial topic, it would seem) in the woods behind my house start to enter their peak picking season, and this year has been no exception, as I’ve picked close to a gallon of berries so far, with plenty more to come.* Wineberries, for the uninitiated, taste quite a bit like raspberries, except with some extra tartness. My favorite thing to do with the wineberries I pick is to use them in a sorbet, the recipe for which is below and which is inspired by a recipe I found in this book. Sometimes I’ll add some blackberries to the sorbet, depending on how many I’ve been able to pick, and if you have no wineberries near you, this is no less delicious with just about any other berry.
Ingredients and Equipment:
1 quart wineberries
1 4-year old child (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
small to medium-sized pinch of saffron,** finely ground with a mortar and pestle
Ice cream maker
Directions: Using the food mill and the labor of the 4-year old child, juice and seed the berries, which should result in about a cup of berry juice. This is a most mundane, tiring, and labor-intensive process for an adult, and it is recommended that adults undertake this task only if no small children are available; by contrast, small children, who have the energy of several thousand suns and a completely warped sense of “enjoyable,” find the process interesting and fun, and the labor they expend helps reduce their energy levels to the point where they may even be willing to accept the notion that they should go to sleep.
Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil, and then dissolve the sugar into the water to make a simple syrup. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the ground saffron and remove from heat.
Combine the berry juice and the simple syrup, and pour into the ice cream maker. Let the ice cream maker run for about 20 minutes. Place the resulting sorbet in an appropriately sized container and freeze until ready to eat. If you wish, top with toasted pine nuts for an added dimension.
*Before anyone complains about the morality of promoting an invasive species such as the wineberry, it seems worth emphasizing that it’s probably not a wise idea to actually try to cultivate wineberries by planting them.
**A pinch of more than perhaps 8-10 saffron threads will likely overwhelm the wineberries.