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Rhubarb sorbet 27 Feb 2012 (Seasonal Recipes) March is the month when rhubarb begins pushing its way through the earth

March is the month when rhubarb begins pushing its way through the earth. If you are a gardener and have covered your rhubarb crown with a tall rhubarb forcing pot, you will no doubt be picking some delicious pink shoots by now.

Because the early shoots are so succulent and such a treat, being the first of the season’s fruits, this sorbet recipe is an ideal way of using them.

To serve 6 people you will need:

  • 1 1/2 lb (650g) rhubarb stalks
  • 1 lb (450g) granulated sugar
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of grenadine (optional but it does add extra colour if needed).

Method:

  • Begin by making the sugar syrup, which needs to be cooled before used for this recipe. Do this by placing the sugar into a saucepan along with 600ml warm water and slowly bring the liquid to the boil.
  • Boil for a couple of minutes and allow to cool.
  • Prepare the rhubarb by cutting into short strips and simmering them with the orange juice, keeping a lid on the pot as it cooks.
  • Allow to cool once it is tender, then zap through a blender along with the sugar syrup to obtain a smooth mix. You can strain it at this point if you want to, but it tastes just as good with little bits in it.
  • Add half the lemon juice and the vanilla extract, taste, adjust with more lemon juice to suit your palate - do be cautious with the lemon juice as frozen foods are best if slightly over-sweet. This is the point where you can add a drop of two of grenadine if you want to improve the colour.
  • Pour the mix into a plastic container and freeze for a couple of hours, then remove from freezer and beat with a hand mixer until all broken up.
  • Place back into the freezer and repeat the process a couple of times more or until you are happy with the texture.
  • Keep stored in the freezer until needed, removing it about 20 minutes before required to allow it to soften slightly.
  • Looks great if served with a little poached rhubarb on the side and a sprig of mint to garnish.

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