Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wild Blueberries Sorbet

I am back! Not in the US (not yet, I am taking European-style vacations!!!) but back to a high-speed internet connexion! We just spent a few days in the French Alps, in Le Villard, a tiny hameau (a village has a church, a townhall and sometimes a school, a hameau has none : it's just a group of houses that depend from a nearby village) near Annecy. [Note : I would highly recommend Annecy as a place to spend a few days in the Summer if you enjoy hiking or in the Winter if you enjoy skiing. You might even hear more about Annecy (and not just on this blog) because Annecy is one of the three cities competing (together with Munich in Germany and Pyeongchang in South Korea) to become host of the 2018 Winter Olympics.]
Whenever we go to Le Villard, we indulge in the local delicacies : cheese (Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon,
Beaufort), smoked ham and saucissons, wild bluberries pies and jams, Raclette, etc. We even drive 45 minutes to get locally made Reblochons and Tomme de Savoie. My husband calls it his commitment to the local Coopérative de Thônes, a place where local farmers bring their milk to make Reblochons fermiers (and yes, there is a code so as to what makes a Reblochon a Reblochon! It's France, after all!)

Our diet in the Alps has nothing in common with what we are used to eating otherwise. But it would be a sacrilège for us not to eat what we consider "local food". Because Le Villard is a place where we have many friends, we are always going from one apéritif to another apéritif. Everytime, we are offered homemade sweet wines made of walnuts, dandelion or other herbs I would not even be able to recognize! I like some better than others but I am willing to try them all, just for the local taste!
We manage to survive this culinary insanity rythm because we generally burn the extra calories hiking (and only stay for less than 2 weeks). Unfortunately for us this time, we got rain almost everyday for 9 straight days. We were extremely disappointed because we all had hoped to be able to go hiking with our backpacks and picnic (sandwiches made of smoked ham and Reblochon! Evidemment!!!). Instead, we had to limit ourselves to shorter hikes. On one of them we found wild bluberries or myrtilles sauvages. They were not ripe enough yet but good enough for all of us to eat some. Our children, who are used to American blueberries, were really intrigued by the tiny size of the local myrtilles. We had to explain that there are actually different types of blueberries and that les myrtilles sauvages are not common in the US.
I had been lucky to find frozen ones in Philadelphia back in the Spring and could not resist purchasing them: a little bit of the French Alps in the middle of Philadelphia? How could I resist? Since they were not sweet enough to make a tarte aux myrtilles, I made a sorbet instead.  A perfect dessert for any day when we feel like going back to Le Villard. Funny enough, sorbet aux myrtilles is not something you find much around Annecy! Pourquoi? Just maybe the local delicacies call for blueberry pies and jams... and nobody dares to change it! It's France afterall! But trust me, this brings a little bit of the French Alps to your table. Until you can go and set your table in the French Alps! Bon Appétit!

- Frozen wild blueberries, thawed.
- Sugar
- Water
- 1 lemon juiced
- Fruit liqueur (optional)

  • Prepare a bowl with ice cubes.
  • Puree the blueberries and drain to only keep a fruit liquid. Weigh that liquid.
  • You will need to make a syrup (50% water + 50% sugar) of equal weight of the fruit liquid. For instance, if you have 400 gr (4 oz) of fruit liquid, you will make a syrup with 200 gr (7oz) of sugar and 200 gr (7oz) of water.
  • In a pot, bring water and sugar to a boil. Boil for one minute. Cool rapidely in the ice bowl.
  • Once cooled, pour the syrup in the fruit liquid, add lemon juice (or liqueur) and place the sorbet in the ice cream maker.
My Personal Comments:
  • You could make it without an icecream maker : every 5610 minutes, you will have to stir the sorbet.
  • The Little Blueberry was made by Leslieyam whose Etsy shop is here.

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