Summer Berries & Elderflower Sorbet

11:30 am on 5 November 2012

High summer is stone-fruit and berry season in Arrowtown. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries grow abundantly around our beautiful river tracks, and so do elderberries — they are pretty much on every street corner. We use both the fruit and the blossom, and the berries make a great jelly.

The elderflower sorbet recipe is an adaption of my elderflower cordial recipe. There will be a surplus of cordial from this recipe which can be served as one of most refreshing summer drinks you’re ever likely to find. All of the berries in this dish were picked from my garden in Arrowtown.

Taste of Central Otago: More Recipes from Arrowtown's Saffron by Pete Gawron, published by Random House NZ.

(Makes several litres of concentrated cordial)

Summer Berries Elderflower SorbetIngredients

  • 12 good heads of elderflower
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 30 g citric acid
  • 500 g white sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1.5 litres boiling water
  • 500 ml elderflower cordial (see above)
  • 750 ml water
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 200 g fresh raspberries
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • juice of 1∕2 a lemon
  • 1∕2 cup each blueberries, blackberries, redcurrants, raspberries and Chilean guava


Elderflower cordial

Wash the elderflowers well, and place them in a non-reactive saucepan. Place the sliced citrus fruit on top, then add the citric acid, the sugar and salt. Pour the boiling water over this.

Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate for three days. Strain through a fine sieve — this is your basic cordial. It will last for some time in the fridge once made.


Add 500 ml of the cordial to the water. Add the liquid glucose to this sorbet base and heat, stirring to dissolve the glucose. Cool and freeze in an ice-cream churn to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Raspberry coulis

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz. Pulse until the fruit is just puréed; too long and the seeds become pulverised and incorporated into the sauce. Pass through a fine sieve. Set aside.

To serve

When the sorbet has set, serve with raspberry coulis and scatter with a selection of your favourite summer berries.

Wine match

Dessert wine
2012 Greylands Ridge Rose

From Nine To Noon

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