I have fond memories of Santa Rosa Plums. In fact, these memories run so deep that I am forever ruined when it comes to other plum varieties, they are just not good enough. When we were growing up, our neighbors in the back had a row of these plum trees all lining the dividing wall. In the summer time, the trees would blossom full of plums and the branches would hang way over the wall onto our side. I’m sure you can guess what happened to those plums that crossed over.
Santa Rosa’s are unique in that their flesh is deep red and super juicy while the purple skins remain very tart. I like this combination and spent many a summer enjoying this overflow of free fruit. I also spent even more years without these plums and gave up trying to find them at the local grocery stores. No luck at all, except one time and I bought a bag full, it was like gold. Then, we decided to plant our own trees and now we are lucky enough to enjoy our very own crop, year after year.
Since this sorbet is tart, I like it best as a palate cleanser. In between courses, a very small scoop is a great way to wipe away any remaining strong flavors from the previous course and prepare for the next. Hope you enjoy!
Santa Rosa Plum Palate Cleanser
Yield: 3 quarts
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
8 cups sliced plums, seeds removed
2 ½ cups simple syrup plus additional
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg, washed and dried
Make the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve all sugar and continue to boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool completely. When cooled to room temperature, place in the refrigerator. This can be made days in advance.
Chop and pit the plums, leaving skins on. Place all 8 cups of plums in a large, non-reactive stockpot (8 quart pot works well) and add 2 ½ cups simple syrup. Bring to a boil and immediately lower heat to medium low and poach until tender. When plums are tender, remove from heat, cool, and puree in a blender.
Strain pureed plums through a fine mesh strainer and add lemon juice. To determine if there is enough simple syrup in the mixture to yield a smooth sorbet, carefully place the egg into the container with the puree and press it down gently. The egg should float to the surface leaving a nickel to quarter size circle of exposed eggshell. If the area is larger than a quarter, the mixture is too sweet; add water until the egg’s surface closes to a quarter size. If the area is smaller than a dime or egg is not visible at all, add simple syrup.
Completely chill the sorbet base and spin according to manufacture directions. My ice cream maker only holds 1 ½ quarts of liquid at a time so I needed to make 2 separate batches.