Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Currant Tea Fruit Soup

Summer has just arrived, but New York has already seen some very hot days. Chances are, we’ll see some more soon. When it’s really hot, even ice cream seems too rich to eat. When the temperature is 

over 90 degrees, I usually crave something really refreshing and light. And, needless to say, easy to prepare – turning the oven on is just not an option. I’m happy to say that this black currant tea-

flavored fruit soup fits the bill perfectly. With a black currant tea and lemon infused syrup as its base, the only other components are fresh fruit and sorbet. The beauty of this dessert is that you can 

change the flavor profile of the tea syrup and coordinate the fruit and sorbet to complement it. Pair a lychee or passion fruit tea syrup with exotic fruits and sorbet, or a raspberry or mint tea syrup with

fresh berries and a berry sorbet. You can make your own sorbet, or use store-bought – happily, there are myriad flavors of high-quality sorbet available in the supermarket these days.

Black Currant Tea Fruit Soup

Makes 4 servings

Black Currant Tea Syrup:
3 cups water
3/4 cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon (4 g/0.14 oz) black currant tea leaves

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally just to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add the vanilla bean, lemon zest and juice and tea leaves. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled.

For serving:
Lemon or raspberry sorbet
2 cups diced or sliced fresh fruit, such as peaches, mango, raspberries or strawberries (leave berries whole)

Scatter about ½ cup of the fresh fruit around the perimeter of a shallow bowl. Place a scoop of sorbet in the center, and drizzle some of the Black Currant Tea Syrup into the bowl. Serve immediately.