Clementine Sherbet Verrines
I cannot believe its already December and we are heading for Christmas full steam ahead. I get great satisfaction when my colleagues start asking for ideas and hints on how to cope with Christmas Lunch and New Years Eve dinner. However I am also concerned because I have not thought about Christmas myself. But the sheer excitement of talking food overcomes me and before you know it I have the pen and paper out making drawings of a potential Christmas day starter for Jamie; mailing my Christmas Fool Proof tips to Nicola and talking George through the stages and motions of making a stunning tart tatin for New Years eve…oops have I now given everyone secrets away!? Hope not, I truly hope that everyone will have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Talking about food is my cheap fix and when I get a great idea like this one popping into my head, I’m on a high for a few days. I received a kilo of leafy clementines this week and was wondering what could I possibly cook with them apart from the stollen that I flavoured with dates and clementine rind. I wanted to make something refreshing but spectacularly fun at the same time. After a dig through my kitchen larder, which by the way is very tidy for a change… thanks to Mr.P, I discovered the tiny jar of leftover citric acid that I used for making elderflower cordial in the summer. Then it came….. drum roll…. the idea of making a clementine sherbet.
Like it??? I love it!! Grrrr… the idea of trying to use the whole clementine was magic! I dried the clementine skins in a cool oven for about 30 minutes until they were very crispy but still bright orange. I was fairly bemused on how quickly they dried, if you leave them for too long in the oven they will discolour and not look very attractive. I ground the very crispy clementine skins, added the critic acid, bicarbonate of soda and icing sugar, child hood memories here they come!!!!
Amazing I love the citrus fizzy feeling and taste, truly magical!
I wrapped the left over crispy clementine skins in muslin along with a couple of cloves and hung it inside the kitchen larder, it smells very Christmasy indeed. I’m pleased I found a use for the skins, as I am not entirely sure if the worms in the wormery would have appreciated them at all.
To finish off my clementine sherbet verrines in the tiny shot glasses, I added a clementine mint salad, a spoonful of granita, topped with a natural yoghurt espuma and a dusting of clemetine sherbert.
These little gems are the perfect refreshing replacement for the old classic trifle, they are not fatty nor heavy; just perfect!
- 500g peeled clementines, flesh only
- 2 leaves of gelatine
- Juice of half a lemon
- 20g caster sugar
Place the peeled clementines in a food blender and blend until smooth, pass the juice through a fine sieve. Discard the fleshy parts and keep the juice.
Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft.
Bring 300ml of the clementine juice to the boil with the sugar, as soon as it starts to boil remove the clementine juice from the heat, squeeze the gelatine to remove any excess water add the soft gelatine to the warm juice and stir to dissolve. (Keep the rest of the juice for the granita.)
Add the juice of half a lemon.
Fill 12 shot glasses half way full with the clementine jelly, refrigerate until set. This takes about 6 hours. I normally leave the jellies to set overnight.
- 125ml of the leftover clementine juice
- 1tsp glucose
- 10g caster sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
Bring the clementine juice, sugar and glucose to the boil, as soon as it boils remove it from the heat, stir until the sugar and glucose dissolve.
Add the juice of half a lemon, pour the mixture into a small palstic container and place it in the freezer. Stir the granita every hour, using a spoon to scrape the ice crystals, repeat this about 5 or 6 times.
- 300g natural full fat yoghurt
- 100g double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 leaves of gelatine
Soak the gelatine in cold water until completely soft, squeeze to remove the water.
Place the cream, soaked gelatine and caster sugar in a metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water, stir until the sugar and soaked gelatine dissolve. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the natural yoghurt, stir.
Pour the yoghurt mixture into a clean 1/2 Litre cream whipper, secure the lid and charge the cream whipper with two gas charges. Shake vigorously and place the cream whipper in the fridge to chill. It will need about 2 hours to chill completely.
When you are ready to use the yoghurt foam shake the cream whipper vigorously to loosen the mixture.
- clementine peel (from the clementines used in the rest of the recipe)
- 1/4 tsp citric acid (normally used to make elderflower cordial, from pharmacies)
- 1/4 tsp wild sumac
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 60g sifted icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the clementine skins, remove as many of the white membranes as possible and break the skins into even size pieces (about the size of a 50 pence piece).
Spread the clementine skins on a large baking tray and place the tray in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, stir the clementine skins regular and check if they are dry. Do not leave the skins in the oven too long as they will discolour and look unattractive.
Once the skins are crisp remove them from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Place 10g of the crisp clementine skins in a food processor and blend till a powder has formed. Add the citric acid, wild sumac, sifted icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda, blend until completely smooth.
Keep the sherbet in a clean air tight container of glass jar.
Food Fanatics Tip
The clementine skins will be very light once dry so do not underestimate the amount to be dried. If you have some dried skins left over tie them together with a couple of cloves in muslin and hang it in your kitchen larder it smells fresh and festive.
Assembly of the dish
- 4 peeled clementines
- 2tbs chopped fresh mint leaves
- set jellies in the glasses
- clementine granita
- yoghurt espuma
- clementine sherbet
First make the clementine and fresh mint salad. Remove as much of the white membranes, as possible, from the clementine segments. Cut the clementine segments into smaller pieces and mix with the chopped fresh mint.
Divide the clementine and mint salad amongst the jelly glasses, top with a spoonful of the clementine granita and a squirt of the yoghurt espuma and dust each glass generously with the clementine sherbet. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 shot glasses