Raspberry Honey Sorbet & Tahini Cookies
My Recipes|Luke Chavez
July 14, 2022
As we moved into our house, we learned from the previous owners that there had once been a large in-ground pool in the backyard, which apparently had been a popular hangout for local housewives in the sixties and seventies. Unfortunately, when the maintenance costs got to be too much, the decision was made to fill it in. At about this time every summer, I start dreaming about that pool. Visions of taking a refreshing dip to cool down while hosting tiki-themed cocktail parties swirl around my imagination when the days get long and hot. As we have still resisted hiring an excavator, we are left to find other creative ways to cool off in summer.
This week, as the temperature kept rising, I started craving ice-cold fruit sorbet. Fortunately, the raspberry vines in our yard (thankfully left behind by the previous homeowners) are currently heavy with perfectly ripe, plump berries. This sorbet, sweetened with honey and brightened up with a hint of lime, has become a new obsession. Looking for a perfect accompaniment, I dug up an old favorite recipe to serve on the side, crisp and soft tahini cookies.
For the Sorbet:
1 ½ pound fresh (or frozen) raspberries
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups honey
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest of two limes
For the Cookies:
2/3 cup raw tahini (100% sesame)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
First, make the sorbet. Place the raspberries, water, honey, lime juice and zest in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender. Blend together until the berries have fully broken down and fully incorporated with the other ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-safe dish and set in the freezer uncovered, stirring every couple of hours until sorbet sets. Allow to freeze for at least 8 hours and overnight if you have the time. When the sorbet is done, transfer and store in a covered container until ready to serve.
While sorbet is setting, make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tahini, vanilla, egg, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-mixed. Add the flour and mix until a crumbly dough forms.
Using your hands, divide and press the dough into 12 balls. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheet and lightly flatten them into a cookie shape. You can use a fork to press down and make a crosshatch pattern like a peanut butter cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges. The cookie will be crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Serve a scoop of the sorbet with some cookies on the side. Fresh mint makes a nice garnish.
This sorbet highlights the sunny flavor of raspberries with a perfect balance of sweet and tart. You could substitute other berries such as blackberries, huckleberries, or any combination of ripe summer berries. The lime juice can also be substituted with lemon juice.
While freezing in a shallow dish, it is important to break it up and stir several times with a large spoon. This helps it freeze evenly and creates a light texture, which will end up being very similar to a true Italian granita.
Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and is a key ingredient in hummus. You can find it in large grocery stores in the middle eastern or kosher section. The tahini has a nice nutty flavor that makes a lovely pairing with the raspberries. However, you can serve this with any favorite cookie. A butter shortbread cookie, Italian amaretti, or a ginger snap would also make wonderful choices. Or serve it as the Sicilians do, a scoop for breakfast served with a rich brioche pastry. For an adult treat, float a small scoop in a glass of prosecco. Enjoy!