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.
If 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: