Pawpaw and lime sorbet single

Imagine it is a warm, summer day and you crave something refreshing to eat.  You wander out your back door, walk a few short paces across your deck, and pick a ripe piece of fruit from a nearby tree.

Growing up, there was always an abundance of tropical fruit available in our garden.  Pawpaw was one such fruit — and within arms length of our back deck!

Served simply cut into wedges and a sprinkling of sugar, with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream, or as part of a tropical fruit salad, pawpaw was a regular on the dessert menu at home.  When fresh produce was this close to hand — literally! — there was really no excuse to not eat well in our family.

For Tropical fruit month, I wanted to create a twist on an old favourite.  A thirst-quenching homemade sorbet teamed with crispy, coconut tuiles.  The combination is more than a wink to summer!

Pawpaw and lime sorbet set

{ Pawpaw & lime sorbet }
A sorbet can be made from nearly any fruit, or combination of fruits.  It is simple, too.  A basic sugar syrup is mixed with a fruit puree, then churned to reach the desired consistency.  When experimenting with flavours and fruits, however, the only trick is to ‘measure’ the sugar content.  Too little or too much sugar and your sorbet will not set to the right consistency (not freeze enough or freeze too much).  But you can test this, with the humble egg.

* Ingredients *
1 kg / 2.2 lbs pawpaw (de-seeded and peeled), yields about 800g or 1.75lb
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 egg, cleaned (for sugar test only)

* Directions *
Bring the water and sugar to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Puree the pawpaw with the lime juice.  Strain to produce a smooth consistency.  In a deep container, mix three quarters of the sugar syrup with three quarters of the fruit puree.  Stir well. Drop an egg into the mixture.  You want the egg to float to the surface and reveal enough shell equivalent to a 10 cent piece/US nickel/5 pence piece.  If the egg is floating too much, add more fruit.  If the egg is sinking too much, add more simple syrup.  Add the remainder of your fruit puree and simple syrup until you get the right consistency.  Remove the egg and then chill the mixture overnight.  Churn the sorbet mixture in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions.  Pack the sorbet into a freezer container and store in freezer for at least 2 hours.

{ Coconut tuiles }
From Desserts by Pierre Hermé written by Dorie Greenspan

* Ingredients *
1 1/4 cups dessicated coconut / sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted and still hot

* Directions *
Process the coconut and the sugar until you achieve a find powder.  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the eggs and melted butter until just mixed.  Cover the bowl and chill overnight.  (Can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week.)

Prepare a baking tray with non-stick paper.  Gently re-stir the mixture. Drop 1/2 teaspoon measure of dough onto the baking tray leaving 6cm (2 1/2 inches) space between each drop.  Aim for about 8-10 cookies on the tray.

Chill for 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 150C or 300F.

Run cool water over the heel of your hand, and tap the cookies into round shapes.  (Their shape will not be perfect.)  It is important the dough be flattened very thin and that the thinness is uniform.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12- 15 minutes (watch as they brown very quickly).  The cookies need to be removed from the baking sheet as soon as they come out from the oven.  Working quickly, gently slide a plastic scraper until each and to a cooling rack.  To mold the cookies in the tradition shape, press the over a rolling pin or bottle instead of transferring to a cooling rack.

Repeat with the remaining mixture, or as required.

Makes 40 cookies.