This is the best and most interesting way you’ve never utilized your favorite tomatoes from your market or garden. I make this recipe all summer long with everything from orange sunburst cherry tomatoes to Valencias to German Striped: the bigger the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes, the better. This sorbet is a great way to get rid of the less attractive tomatoes sold in bulk in the farmers’ market.
I will serve this for dessert if I am feeling like doing something really funky for friends, or with corn pudding as a hot or cold side, or as a garnish for tomato-mozzarella salad, or alongside an olive-and-onion tart—you get the drift. Try floating a scoop of this sorbet in your next bowl of gazpacho.
- 10 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tarragon sprigs
- 2 basil sprigs
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
ACTIVE: 1 HR
TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN PLUS OVERNIGHT MACERATING
SERVINGS: 1 1/2 QUARTS
Line a large colander with a layer of cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. In a medium bowl, toss half of the tomatoes with the salt and transfer to the colander. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
Remove the colander from the bowl and reserve 3/4 cup of the tomato water; save the remaining tomato water for another use.
Working in batches, puree the remaining 5 pounds of tomatoes with the bell pepper in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a large saucepan; discard the solids. Stir in the wine, tarragon, basil and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the puree is reduced to 4 cups, 35 to 40 minutes.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and stir into the tomato puree along with the lemon juice, white pepper and the reserved tomato water. Strain into a pitcher and discard the solids. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
Pour the sorbet base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the sorbet is set but not rock hard, about 25 minutes. Serve.
MAKE AHEAD The sorbet can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 days.