Summer is fading fast. Truth be told, in many ways, it is already behind us, and though I will fiercely miss its warm breezes and long evenings, I cannot help daydreaming of pumpkins and cozy bonfires. Though the autumn is full of its own glorious, cinnamon-scented charms, I want to cherish these last, warm summer moments and drink them in, literally and metaphorically.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth
- Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats
Last summer, my fiancé and I drove a couple hours so that we could spend an entire Saturday browsing through old bookstores with quirky proprietors, and stopping for refreshments every half hour.
We happened upon a small gelato shop serving a peach bellini gelato that was beyond heavenly. It was a sweet, southern afternoon captured in frozen cream. That gelato, it's majesty still imprinted upon my mind, was the inspiration for this sorbet.
Before the comments come rushing in, I do not claim to be a wine connoisseur, and I am sure that a sommelier would turn his or her nose up to this ten dollar bottle of rosé that I picked solely based upon the packaging. Though I plan on giving the world of fermented beverages further study at some point in the future, for now, the ten dollar stuff suits me just fine, especially since I was not planning on drinking it.
This rosé is combined with granulated sugar, and reduced into a light syrup that brings the flavors of the warm south to our sorbet.
Let's take a moment to talk about sorbet...
Surprisingly, this three-ingredient treat is not as simple as I had originally thought. I did a heavy load of research while testing this recipe and learned that the sorbet craft is a finicky one - one that requires a rather stringent ratio.
Sugar is very important to sorbet making, as it will effect the texture just as much as it will the flavor. Sugar lowers the freezing point of water, meaning that, in the proper amount, it will keep our sorbet scoopable. Of course, too much sugar could prevent the sorbet from freezing altogether, so it's important to keep the total sugar content (yes, including that of the fruit) of your sorbet around twenty to thirty percent.
With rosé at the party, we must be even more careful, as alcohol further reduces the freezing point of water. We have to tread carefully in order to keep our sorbet from being nothing but very cold soup.
Fortunately, I did all of the research, failing, and panicking for you so all you have to do is follow the recipe. If you would like to read more about the science of a perfectly executed sorbet, this article explains it very well.
Now that all the technicalities are behind us, let's talk about how wonderfully the flavor of sun-ripened peaches pairs with the soft, effervesce of a blushing rosé. It is pure heaven.
Today, let us preserve the fading call of summer and savor a few last tastes of the season.
This. This is my very own beaker of the warm south.
Peach Rosé Sorbet
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup Rosé (look for something in the 12% alcohol content range)
- 2 1/2 cups sliced peaches,* skins removed
*You may use fresh or frozen peaches for this application. However, if you do opt for frozen peaches, make sure they are fully defrosted before using them in the recipe.
Combine sugar and rosé in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes, and then remove from heat.
Place the peaches in your blender and cover with the rosé syrup. Blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth.
Allow to chill in the refrigerator or in an ice bath until the mixture is very cool. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.* Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and allow it to set up in the freezer for 2-4 hours.
*Depending on your ice cream maker, the sorbet may not completely freeze in the machine. Some ice cream makers do not get cold enough to really freeze the mixture, but do not worry, it will set up in the freezer.