I do quite like Christmas pudding but after a massive and rich Christmas dinner, I can never face eating it. It would seem a shame not to finish off the best meal of the year without something delicious and festive though so I always try to find a lighter alternative. I’m fond of a simple dish of beautifully sliced oranges drizzled with Gran Marnier but my absolute favourite is this roasted plum sorbet served in pretty glass dishes. Rich and red, it looks like Christmas in a glass. I always stone and freeze a kilo of ripe red plums when they’re in season in September so I can make this sorbet and put in the freezer just ahead of Christmas. Less fuss on Christmas Day, an added bonus! Don’t worry if you haven’t already got the plums, buy ready frozen. If you’re feeling very greedy though, this makes a great palate cleanser so you can eat a slab of Christmas pudding as well : ).
To make it you will need…
- An ice cream/sorbet maker (I use a Magimix Le Glacier), a large fine sieve, a baking dish and a mixing bowl.
- 1 kg of halved and stoned plums – fresh or defrosted.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste. You could also use good quality essence or fresh seeds but paste is easier.
- 100g golden caster sugar.
- Optional: 50ml sloe gin or vodka. Don’t be tempted to use more or it won’t freeze.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Put the plums into a roasting dish large enough to spread the plums out so that they can roast properly and sprinkle the sugar and vanilla paste over them.
- Roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes until they are soft and ever so slightly blistered. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool slightly.
- Set a sieve (or a mouli like the ones you make baby food in if you have one) over a large bowl and rub the juices and flesh through. You want a smooth puree that retains the flavour of the flesh and skin. You can taste the puree now – it should be delicious but add a little more sugar if you think it’s too tart. Add the sloe gin or vodka if you’re using it and stir.
- I usually pour it into a large pyrex jug (easier to pour the puree into the ice cream maker) and let it cool in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Finally, churn it in your ice cream maker and put it in a plastic container to freeze.
- Take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you want to serve it so that it’s easy to scoop out into balls or quenelles.
- Serve it in your prettiest glass dishes, pour a little extra sloe gin over for extra luxury!