Chosen Bites: Take the heat out of summer

Typically eaten out of hand, blackberries are fragrant and complex; simple to make and a crowd pleaser, berry sorbets are perfect all year round.

Blackberry Sorbet 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Blackberry Sorbet 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sorbets are one of my favorite treats. I make them all year round, but especially in the summer. The farmers market offers inspiration for my flavors. Recently, the stalls were abundant with gorgeous tempting blackberries. Typically eaten out of hand, blackberries are fragrant and complex. Simple to make and a crowd pleaser, sorbets are perfect for summer or anytime. 
Blackberry Sorbet
1 pound fresh or frozen blackberries12 ounces granulated sugar2 cups water1 tablespoon lemon juicePinch of salt
1. Puree the blackberries, sugar and water in a food processor or blender. Try not to blend the seeds completely or the sorbet will be bitter. Strain out the seeds and any solids through a mesh strainer and discard the seeds.
2. Add the lemon juice and salt, and mix completely. Chill the sorbet mix for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Process the sorbet in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
4. Store the sorbet in a container with a tight fitting lid in the coldest part of the freezer.
5. Garnish with cut up fruit, chopped mint, whipped cream, nuts.
Blackberry Cobbler
I like simple rustic desserts in the summer and am not interested in fussing too much in the kitchen. This delicious cobbler is the perfect summer old fashioned dessert. Crispy crust and sweet tangy fruit make this a wonderful way to end a meal. Serve the cobbler with a big scoop of Blackberry Sorbet.
1 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ cups sugar + 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons chilled butter or non-hydrogenated shortening (for parve)
¼ cup ice water
3 pints blackberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and the salt until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles peas. Add the ice water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the pastry is evenly moistened.
2. Transfer the pastry to a lightly floured surface and knead just until it comes together. Flatten the pastry into a 6-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, toss the blackberries with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar, the lemon juice, cinnamon and 1/3 cup of flour. Let stand at room temperature, stirring gently once or twice, until slightly juicy, about 15 minutes. Transfer the fruit to a round 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 1/4-inch thickness that is slightly larger than the baking dish. Drape the pastry over the berries. Trim the overhang to 1/2 inch and fold it under itself, pressing the pastry onto the rim of the dish. Crimp the edge decoratively and make 3 slashes in the center of the pastry.
5. Bake the cobbler for 1 hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden. Cover the edges with foil if the crust browns too quickly. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.