Mulled wine spices add vibrant flavor notes to this Mulled Red Wine and Plum Sorbet… A light, refreshing finish to any elegant meal with a sprig of mint and a square of dark chocolate!
Dessert is always a “guilty pleasure,” and one I seldom succumb to. Valentine’s Day joins Christmas, Thanksgiving, and my birthday as days that I ignore my ridiculous self-discipline, and just savor a dessert! Mulled Red Wine and Plum Sorbet is one I’ve made a few times over the years. My recipe evolved from this recipe from Epicurious, with fresh plums, red wine, and spices. It is refreshing and light – a perfect finale to our special Valentine’s Day menu. I’ve intensified the mulled wine flavors by adding star anise and clove to the cinnamon stick and black pepper. I think Graham Kerr might approve. 😉
I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.
~~ Graham Kerr
There is a certain appeal to this make-ahead dessert – it must be made in advance and frozen at least an hour prior to serving to harden. The plum purée can be made and chilled up to a day before freezing, and it can be stored in the freezer up to a week. The flexibility of this sorbet allowed me to focus on my starter and main courses. My original “plan” was to make the sorbet the day before, but we planted about 3 dozen plants instead! I did, however, make it early in the day…
When the plates were cleared after our sumptuous meal, I scooped the sorbet into pretty martini glasses, garnished with a square of dark chocolate and a sprig of mint, and served with a tiny glass of port… truly a lovely ending to the meal.
Mulled Red Wine and Plum Sorbet
- 1 pound ripe red black, or prune plums, halved lengthwise and pitted
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 3 star anise
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 3- by 1-inch strips lemon zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Make a spice bag with the cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns. (Otherwise you'll need to count and fish them all out before you puree the mixture.)
Add prepared plums, red wine, sugar, water, spice bag, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt to a heavy medium saucepan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until plums fall apart, about 25 minutes.
Discard whole spices and zest. Pour mixture into a deep mixing bowl, and allow it to cool. Purée using an immersion blender* until very smooth. Force purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding any solids.
Chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours.
Freeze purée in ice cream maker, then transfer sorbet to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.
Using an ice cream scoop, place 2 rounded scoops into each glass. Garnish with mint sprig and a square of dark chocolate if desired.
Recipe NotesIf you don't have an immersion blender (you need one!), puree in a blender, but cool it first!
Berries work really well in this recipe too!
Valentine’s Day Menu 2016: