Blushing peach, deep purple, and pale pink, a trio of pretty sorbets is a special finish to a summer meal. At the Ranch, these fruit sorbets are made from the very ripest plums, blackberries, and peaches, brought to the kitchen still warm from the sun and absolutely bursting with flavor. Any summer fruit at its flavorful best will make a wonderful sorbet: strawberries, melons of all kinds, raspberries, apricots. Even tart cherries are well worth the work to prepare.
Choose with your nose as well as your eyes. Ripe fruit gives off a luscious perfume. You might even decide to infuse one of the sorbets with an herb from the garden—tarragon, lemon basil, mint, or rose geranium flowers are all wonderful with fruit. Garnish with a flower or herb, diced fruit, or a thin stalk of lemongrass to nibble.
2 cups pitted and chopped ripe plums
2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped ripe peaches or nectarines
2 cups ripe blackberries, rinsed, dried, and picked over
½ cup agave syrup, maple syrup, or packed brown sugar
Edible flowers, herb sprigs, fresh berries, morsels of fruit, or lemongrass stalks (optional)
1. Wash the plums. Cut in half and remove the pits, then cut the fruit into small pieces.
2. Skin the peaches by pouring boiling water over them for 10 seconds. Cool, then remove the skin with a sharp knife. Cut in half and remove the stones, then cut the fruit into small pieces.
3. Quickly rinse, dry, and pick over the blackberries.
4. Place each fruit in a separate plastic bag and freeze overnight.
5. In the bowl of a food processor, puree each fruit separately until perfectly smooth, adding a couple of tablespoons of syrup or more if the fruit is tart, rinsing the bowl in between.
6. As you finish each puree, pack it into a small container, cover, and freeze for at least 1 hour. If the sorbet becomes very hard, let the container stand at room temperature to soften for 10 minutes.
7. Serve a small scoop of each sorbet in a chilled dessert bowl or martini glass with one or more of the garnishes, if desired.