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Cooking with Raymond

Tomato Sorbet

A refreshing summer sorbet which can be served as a starter or appetizer, or in the middle of a multi-course meal. You'll need a blender and ice cream maker.

Name of dish: Tomato Sorbet
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 12 people
Chopped tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 100ml water
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1.5 kg ripe tomatoes - Marmande, Roma or cherry (Chef's note 1)
  • 2g/8 basil or tarragon leaves, finely shredded
  • 80g/1 onion, white, finely chopped
  • 45g/3tbsp olive oil, cooking
  • 1g/1 sprig thyme
  • 1g/1 strips orange zest
  • 8g/1½tsp sea salt
  • 2g Tabasco sauce

Method

  1. The sorbet can be prepared half a day in advance and churned in the sorbetière 1 hour before serving. Place 12 plates or serving glasses in the freezer 1 hour before the meal.
  2. To make the sorbet syrup, boil 100 ml water with the sugar in a small saucepan until you obtain a clear syrup. Allow to cool.
  3. Wash, halve, deseed the tomatoes with a teaspoon and chop finely. Divide into one-third and two-thirds and keep separately.
  4. In a medium frying pan sweat the onion, thyme and orange zests in the olive oil for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the one-third chopped tomatoes and the basil or tarragon leaves, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Remove the lid and continue simmering until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture becomes pulpy. Draw off the heat and leave to cool.
  6. Purée the cooled mixture with the uncooked tomatoes (Chef's note 2), salt, Tabasco sauce and most of the syrup. Taste. If it is a little acidic, add the remaining syrup.
  7. Using a ladle, force through a fine conical sieve into a sorbetière and churn for 6-10 minutes until the sorbet holds together. Place in a container, cover and put in the freezer.
  8. To serve: using 2 dessert spoons dipped in hot water, shape the tomato sorbet into quenelles and place on the chilled plates or glasses. Serve immediately.
  9. To store: once churned, the sorbet must be served within 2-3 hours; due to its low sugar content, it will soon crystallize and harden. (Chef's note 3)

Variations

  1. Using Fennel in place of the tomatoes would also make a great sorbet, but would need more cooking to break down the vegetable enough to puree.

Chef's notes

  1. The success of this dish depends upon using best quality, ripe tomatoes.
  2. The sorbet is made with both cooked and raw tomatoes. The cooked tomatoes will lose their acidity and water content and the reduction will concentrate their flavour. The uncooked tomatoes provide the freshness and liveliness.
  3. A savoury sorbet will never be quite as smooth as a sweet one because of the small quantity of sugar used.

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