Regular readers of the blog know that I spend two weekends a year working in the Artistes' Tent at Stour Music Festival (a wonderful Baroque/Early Music Festival in a semi-disused church in Boughton Aluph, Kent). Over that time, we feed hordes of hungry singers and musicians, plus all the volunteer helpers. This was my first year on my own, and the stakes were high - the wonderful Jo has been Queen of Puddings for 55 years, so standards must not be allowed to slip! This first weekend is a time for new puddings and experiments, as well as the classic Stour favourites (if you click on the "labels" section of the blog, there is a tag for "Stour Festival Puddings") - you can see some of the rest of them in the background of the photo.
I was challenged to produce frozen flowers in some form... so I made an ice bowl with garden flowers, plus a lemon sorbet. Can't think why I've not blogged a lemon sorbet before, but it's so easy!!!! You don't really need an ice cream maker, just time. The recipe below is the simplest going, but you could add egg white to give it a bit more smoothness. I didn't - having used 18 egg whites already in several other guises, there were simply none left.
|Lemon Sorbet in an Ice Bowl|
Quick Lemon Sorbet
10 large lemons, zest and juice
Equal weights sugar and water - I used 20oz to 20floz/500g to 500ml
First make the stock syrup by putting the water and sugar into a pan, stirring gently, heating until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to cool entirely (you can put it in the freezer!). This keeps for weeks, so you could make double quantity and put half in the fridge for another time.
Add the juice and zest to the mixture, stir well and churn the mixture in an ice cream maker (this quantity took two goes). Alternatively, freeze in a shallow container in the freezer, breaking it up with a fork every half hour or so to stop large crystals from forming.
This makes enough to fill a 2 litre tub. It is best served slightly less than rock hard - easy in a hot tent!
To make it more like a sherbet, add 2 egg whites to the ice cream maker, or whisk the whites and fold them into the mix if you are open freezing it.
parcel tape and a couple of heavy tins
cooled boiled water/mineral water (this helps keep the ice clear)
Choose two bowls with a similar shape - do I have to tell you to have one smaller than the other? Thought not! Pick pretty flowers. Pour some water into the larger bowl, add some of the flowers. Place the smaller bowl on top. Push the rest of the flowers in round the edges, adding more water. The second bowl will rise, so put the tins into it before strapping the parcel tape across the top to keep the second bowl level with the first and in the centre. Fill up with the water - you might need to check the tape - and add another food tin. Freeze overnight until solid.
To use - allow the bowl to defrost just a little before unmoulding it and adding the sorbet. It will be a wonderful centrepiece - some people commented on how pretty the flowers were as they appeared as the ice melted. Just make sure that the ice bowl is in a container that can hold the inevitable meltwater!