Scooped: Plum Sorbet

Max Falkowitz

Another year, another opportunity for me to say how much I love plums. You can keep your peaches and berries; plums deliver that perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a borderline jammy texture, that I so crave from summer fruit. And now that they're ripe to bursting at the market, it's the perfect time to start using them in sweets.

I've been enjoying my summer of sorbets, which have allowed me to do as little as possible to fresh fruit and still get great dessert. But this recipe is also open to some ambition: it's a born-ready dessert topper, waiting for a buttery cake or warm cobbler to cross its path. The unique sweet-tart flavor of plums makes this scoop equal parts rich and refreshing, something to add depth and lightness to baked desserts all at once. It's a recipe worth keeping at hand come fall, as the weather turns nippy but late-season plums are still around the markets; I can't wait to try this with gingerbread.

If you leave your plums skin-on, which I encourage for the tart flavor they add and general easiness, you probably won't need any lemon juice or other acid for balance. A tiny bit of corn syrup does help though; plums don't produce a purée quite as rich as strawberry or peach, and that tablespoon or so of invert sugar will go a long way towards keeping iciness at bay. So does serving it a couple degrees warmer, so let it sit on the counter for a couple minutes before scooping.

I saw half a dozen plum varieties on my last shopping trip, and couldn't help mixing and matching for this sorbet. I settled on an equal mix of Italian prunes and sugar plums, but use whatever blend you like. Combining multiple varieties can add some complexity to the sorbet.

Whether you use this recipe as à la mode fodder or eat it straight up, it's one you'll be keeping around for the rest of the summer.