Here's how I know when it's time to break out the ice cream machine.
I'm sure everyone has run a load of sheets and towels through the dryer, only to find at the end of the cycle that things weren't quite dry, and as you reach in your hand is enveloped in folds of hot, damp, heavy fabric.
The other day, atmospheric conditions here in DC roughly approximated that environment. Thus, ice cream season had begun.
And speaking of seasons, blackberries are very much in season and make for an excellent sorbet. The challenge in sorbet making is texture: too much water and you'll have hard crunchy ice. So you want to find the right sugar/water balance to achieve a freezing point that will give you small ice crystals and a smooth texture.
Blackberries have a good amount of sugar and, importantly, high levels of pectin, a natural thickener that is a texture perfectionist's best friend.
You know what else is good for sorbet texture? Booze. Alcohol lowers the freezing point and prevents things from freezing too solidly. Blackberry and orange are a winning combo, and a couple of tablespoons of Cointreau do much good for this sorbet.
It's light, refreshing, fruity, and an excellent way to counteract the onset of Washington DC's brutal summer humidity.
Recipe after the jump.