Fresh Peach-Darjeeling Sorbet
Teas from the Darjeeling district of Northern India are prized for their delicate flavor and aroma. Tasting one particular variety in that region from a single estate called Orange Valley, with its beautifully flowery, fruit character, we were reminded of peaches. Thus, a sorbet was born.

When you're looking for a light but satisfying ending to a spicy or well-sauced meal, try this sorbet. With a hint of brewed fine tea providing a background note, this refreshing dessert captures the round ripeness of summer peaches in every frozen bite. Pouring chilled tea over the sorbet beore serving adds flavor and just the right bit of frosty crunch for added texture.

Note: Don't resort to out-of-season fruit, which simply cannot compatre with the highly perfumed fruits of summer available at your local farmer's market or roadside stand. Although this recipe may be made using canned peach nectar in place of the fresh peach, reduce the sugar accordingly. For pure peach flavor, it's worth waiting until the season's right.

During that brief moment in late spring or early summer when apricots are at their peak, feel free to substitute them for the peaches and garnish each serving with fresh slices of that fruit if desired.

1 cup/240 milliliters water
2 cups/400 grams granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons/56 grams Darjeeliing tea leaves
2 cups/475 milliliters puréed, peeled, and pitted ripe peaches
Juice of 1 lemon
Garnishes: 2 cups/475 milliliters fresh peaches, peeled and thinly sliced; mint sprigs

Place 4 freezer-safe goblets into the freezer.

Brew 1 tablespoon/14 grams Darjelling tea leaves in 1 cup/240 milliliters hot (180°F/82°C) water and infuse for about 2 minutes. Sieve out the tea leaves and reserve the liquid. Cool and chill, covered, in refrigerator until serving time.

Heat the water and sugar to a boil. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons/56 grams tea leaves and infuse for 2 minutes. Sieve to remove the tea leaves. (Save the leaves for a second infusion and drink up!) Add the peach purée and lemon juice and freeze until firm using any of the followiing methods: For the creamiest product, pour into a tabletop, self-contained, no-ice-needed ice cream machine for a somewhat more granular textured ice, freeze the misture in a canister-type electric ice cream maker that uses rock salt and ice cubes to freeze the mixture; or freeze in a stainless steel bowl until firm, about 8 hours. Process in batches in a food processor or blender just until slushy and somewhat creamy and serve immediately.

Yields approximately 1 quart/1liter. Place 1 large scoop into each chilled, frosted goblet. Pour about 1/4 cup/60 milliliters of the chilled brewed tea over each serving and garnish with sliced peaches and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

This recipe is part of the book Cooking with Tea by Robert Wemischner and Diana Rosen.
Photography by Sysan Bourgoin

Click here for printable version.


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