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Plum Sorbet

This is a very simple and pretty dessert. Although plums are not as commonly used in frozen desserts as peaches, berries, and citrus fruits, they make an especially lush and creamy sorbet.

Makes about half a litre

Ingredients

Method

  1. Put the plums and water into a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on, and cook gently over medium-low heat, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon until they’re tender. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, fish out the plums, and put them into a blender or food processor.
  2. Sprinkle the agar-agar flakes over the remaining cooking liquid and gently simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the liquid to the blender and purée until smooth. While the plums are still hot, mix in the syrup and lemon juice, and stir well. Pour the mixture into a plastic tub, and freeze for at least 6 hours, until solid.

*This plum sorbet is smooth enough to scoop out and eat as it is at this stage of the recipe. For a smoother texture, blend the sorbet again the day before you serve it. Scrape the frozen mixture up with a fork until it looks like finely crushed ice. Spoon half of it into a blender and blend until it’s light and smooth. Make sure you do it quickly so the sorbet doesn’t thaw. Blend the other half in the same way. Place the blended sorbet back into the plastic tub, cover, and freeze until it’s firm again. This will take about 1-3 hours this time.

*You could also try freezing the sorbet in an ice cube tray instead of the plastic tub to make instant kid-sized servings.

Chef

John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.