Have you ever heard of pacharán? Pacharán is a liqueur made by macerating sloe berries in anisette (patxaran as spelled in the Basque Country and Navarra). It comes from the region of Navarra in the north of the country, but it is popular all over Spain and it is also brewed in La Rioja, Aragón and the Basque Country (something you could enjoy in a short break in Bilbao, for example). For this plum sorbet with «pacharán» I’ve followed a recipe by our common friend Jamie Oliver, who uses sloe gin, though it’s not exactly the same as pacharán. Pacharán is better…
As Jamie says, sloe berries belong to the same fruit family as plums and they make indeed a good match. The sorbet is made with frozen plums that are processed whole, that’s the reason for the red speckles. Spanish mothers used to tell their kids that the fruit skin has a lot of vitamins, I tell my kids too. And the skin is a damn nuisance to get rid of… ahem. I’ve sweetened the sorbet with honey instead of sugar, which makes it ever healthier and it’s a wonderful flavor pairing too. The plums came from my brand new CSA… wow.
- 2 pounds (1kg) ripe plums
- 4 heaped tablespoons honey
- 6 tablespoons pacharán or sloe gin
- One day in advance, wash, cut in half and core the plums. Lay them in a freezer container and freeze overnight.
- The next day, throw the frozen pieces of plum in a powerful food processor or blender, one that can crush ice cubes. I use my Thermomix for that. Then add the honey and liqueur and process until you get a smooth sorbet. More or less, it doesn't get completely smooth.
- You might need to process the plums in 2 batches. Then equally distribute the honey and liqueur among them.
The sorbet can be eaten as it is, with a soft consistency, or can be poured into a container again and frozen somewhat longer. It doesn’t get very hard though because of the alcohol in it. Serve the plum and «pacharán» sorbet with another tiny splash of more pacharán… delicious.
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