Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peach and White Wine Sorbet

So, in one of my newish cookbooks, I have a recipe for some lovely Red Wine-Raspberry Sorbet that I had wanted to try since I received said book in the mail from my friends at Amazon.
I didn't get around to it until recently (and it was VERY good- fairly robust because of the Merlot I chose, but good).

But I wanted to try something lighter and with peaches since they are sooooo good when they're perfectly ripe. I know, it can be hard to justify using peaches for something (such as cooking!) other than out-of-hand eating sometimes when they are so perfect.

One summer when I was in college I had a job at a peach orchard (educational in many ways to say the least), and sometimes Joe (another college student who was working there with me) and I would eat a peach as we picked them. Some of them were HUGE, as big as a softball, weighing down the branches of the trees. The difference between fresh, sun-warmed, tree-ripened peaches and the golf balls you can often find at the grocery store is pretty amazing. No comparison.

Something I didn't initially understand was how the (legal) migrant workers the orchard owner had hired to help pick peaches could wear heavy long-sleeved flannel shirts outdoors and in the middle of the summer. I found out that they were protecting themselves from the rain of peach fuzz. If you have ever been attacked by wayward peach fuzz you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's a very uncomfortable and itchy sensation.

Apparently in peach picking you have a choice: be hot or itch like crazy. It seems to be putting yourself between a rock and a hard place if you ask me.

This recipe is inspired by David Lebovitz's Red Wine Raspberry Sorbet, and it's definitely an adult dessert (or maybe a palate cleanser between courses for a nice dinner).

I left the peaches unpeeled because I thought it would give the sorbet more color in the final product.

Something you will want to keep in mind is that the wine you choose will, in large part, flavor the sorbet. A wine that is fruity and one that would be complimentary to fruit would be good- you don't want fruit and wine vying for dominance here, kids. Choose a wine that you would drink, but by no means does it have to be expensive since it will be heated, "doctored", and frozen. It can be cheap! It can be on sale! I don't know if I would go with something too sweet though (i.e Riesling), since you will be adding sugar (which helps with consistency). Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc might be good...

If you don't know, talk to the wine merchant at your store OR check out the label, take a chance, and go with what looks good.

Peach and White Wine Sorbet

1 bottle (750 mL) fruity white wine
1 c sugar
3/4 c water
4 c roughly chopped peaches

Combine wine, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about a minute, remove from heat, add peaches, and cover. Leave warm peach and wine mixture to marinate for about 1 1/2 hours.
Place part of the mixture in a food processor or blender and blend for a minute until the peaches are broken down. Remember that hot liquids expand when you process them and you want to be careful not to have too much in the bowl of the processor when you turn it on, otherwise you'll be cleaning up a sticky mess. Strain into a large bowl or container with a cover, pressing on the solids with a spatula to extract as much of the juice as possible.
Repeat with the rest of the peaches and wine.
Cover the mixture and chill until completely cold (overnight may be best).
Place the cold mixture in an ice cream maker and continue per manufacturer's instuctions.
Freeze in a covered container.

ALTERNATIVELY: Place cold mixture in a 9x13 inch glass dish and freeze. Check the sorbet and stir every 1/2 hour or so until it is of a sorbet consistency.
(P.S. I end up having do this sometimes anyway with my partially frozen sorbets after using the ice cream maker!)


  1. I think I would like to look at peach fuzz under a microscope- maybe it has barbs on it like velcro... and maybe that's why it's as irritating as it is.

  2. those cheese balls look like mushrooms

  3. who would comment on the sorbet about cheese balls?

  4. I don't know. Someone anonymous?