This is the second installment of Abby Dodge’s virtual Bake Together challenge. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a baked good, but I never pass up the chance to make ice cream. I originally thought I’d swap out the water for cream because I rarely make sorbet, but the thought of a clean, blueberry sorbet made me stick with the sugar syrup. This isn’t an ordinary sorbet, though – my local supply of lavender is still in full bloom (three doors down!) so I infused the syrup with a bit of lavender. And then added more to the blueberry base while it was chilling overnight. If you don’t have access to fresh lavender, dried whole blossoms will work fine – just be sure to use culinary lavender.
The result is a mildly exotic version expression of pure blueberry. The lavender isn’t overpowering but adds a floral component. This is going to be something I make again and again. I’m so happy that Abby suggested this, and I’m loving the Bake Together challenges – I’m sure I wouldn’t have ever tried this on my own. I’m just wishing I could share the results with the other participants.
Adapted from: Abby Dodge
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lavender blossoms, divided
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch Kosher salt
Have ready an ice cream maker (I use an a frozen bowl attachment for the Kitchen Aid Mixer).
Put the sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of lavender and let steep for 15 minutes. Set a fine strainer over a medium bowl and pour the sugar syrup into the strainer, pressing on the lavender with a rubber spatula. Discard the lavender and place the strainer back over the bowl (you can refrigerate this syrup up to 4 days before continuing).
In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries with the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat until the berries start to split and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the berries to a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour the fruit puree into the strainer, pressing on the puree with a rubber spatula. Stir with the sugar syrup until blended. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lavender blossoms, stir, and set aside to cool completely and refrigerate until chilled or up to 1 day. For faster cooling, set the pan over a bowl filled with ice, stirring occasionally, until well chilled.
When you’re ready to make the sorbet, put a fine strainer over a clean bowl and pour the chilled mixture into the strainer, pressing down again with a rubber spatula. Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to manufacturerâ€™s instructions. Scrape into a container, cover and freeze until firm or up to 2 days.
- Lavender-Blueberry Sorbet (adapted from Abby Dodge)