Friday 21 November 2008

Cook's Alphabet 'E'

Cook's Alphabet 'E'

This is the fifth in my series of 28 postings going through the entire alphabet, as it relates to cooks and cooking. As you can see, today I'm dealing with the letter 'E'.

The letter 'E' is, of course the fifth letter in the alphabet, and today's recipe is for a classic British wild food sorbet that both begins with the letter 'E' and which contains elderberries, a wild 'E' fruit as a main ingredient:

Elderberry Sorbet

775g elderberries, removed from the sprays with a fork
100g caster sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp egg white

Add the sugar to a pan along with 120ml water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to a boil and immediately take off the heat then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, use the tines of a fork to remove the elderberries from their stalks. Add the elderberries and lemon juice to a food processor. Process to a smooth purée then strain through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any seeds.

Once the sugar solution is cold mix with the fruit purée. Pour the resultant mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream making machine, pour the mixture into a non-metallic freezer-proof dish then cover with a lid and place in the freezer. Freeze until the sorbet is almost firm (but still a little liquid). Cut the sorbet into chunks and place in a blender. Process until smooth then add the egg white and continue processing until completely blended. Transfer the sorbet back into the dish and freeze again until almost firm.

Once again chop the sorbet into pieces and process until smooth. This gets rid of all the ice crystals and makes the sorbet very smooth, which is what you want. Return to the freezer-proof dish and freeze completely. To serve, allow the sorbet to soften for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature then spoon into dessert glasses and serve, garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Elderberry Sorbet Recipe page. Which is part of the site's Wild Food Recipes collection)

Today's cooking process is Emulsion: Emulsion is a stable suspension of oil and water (think of paint). In cookery this is a combination of fat and water with a stabilizing agent (usually eggs). Good examples are mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauce.

For more information on cookery-associated terms and information beginning with the letter 'E' here are various links that may well be of interest:

Recipes beginning with 'E'
Spices beginning with 'E'
Herbs beginning with 'E'
Wild foods beginning with 'E'
Cook's glossary 'E'

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