Peach Schnapps & Strawberry Infused Watermelon with Black Peppercorn Sorbet

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By Darren Purchese

This recipe was originally published in the 2013 cook book At Home With Sous Vide. Darren was asked to contribute a recipe to showcase the versatility of Sous Vide Cookery for home.

The fresh combination of flavours is heightened through Darren’s clever use of sous vide and compression from the vacuum machine. The tingle of pepper in the sorbet leaves a lingering warmth to a cold dessert.

You will need to have access to a vac pac machine and ice cream churner to complete this recipe.

Time

14

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0

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Degree of Difficulty

Easy

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BLACK PEPPERCORN SYRUP INFUSION

375g caster sugar
325 ml water
45g glucose syrup
15g black pepper, freshly cracked

BLACK PEPPERCORN SORBET

350g black peppercorn syrup infusion
400g creme fraiche

PEACH SCHNAPPS & STRAWBERRY WATER INFUSION

500g strawberries, whole frozen
350 ml peach schnapps
500g sugar syrup 1-1
1g malic acid *
15g lemon juice
1 whole vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped

PEACH SCHNAPPS & STRAWBERRY INFUSED WATERMELON

4 pieces seedless watermelon, cut into 3cm x 3cm x 6cm rectangles
600g peach schnapps and strawberry water infusion

TO SERVE

 fresh basil leaves finely sliced julienne
1

This recipe by Darren Purchese is extracted from the 2013 cook book Sous Vide At Home by Dale Prentice.

 

2

For the black peppercorn water infusion… preheat a water bath to 72°C/161.6°F. Place the caster sugar, water, glucose and pepper in a vacuum pouch, and seal on high. Cook in the preheated water bath for 1 hour, ensuring the sugar has fully dissolved before removing. Place the vacuum pouch in the fridge for 12 hours to cool. Pass through a sieve, reserving the syrup.

 

3

For the sorbet… measure 350 g of the syrup and mix together with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Transfer mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in the freezer to set.

 

4

For the peach schnapps & strawberry water infusion… preheat a water bath to 55°C/131°F. Place all of the ingredients into a 250 mm x 300 mm vacuum pouch and seal under just enough pressure to remove air without squashing the fruit. Cook in the preheated water bath for 8 hours. Remove the pouch from the water bath and place in the fridge to cool for 1 hour. Pour the contents of the vacuum pouch into a muslin-lined sieve set over a container, and allow the infusion to strain overnight in the fridge. Reserve the infusion for the next step and reserve the strawberries to serve.

Recipe for sugar syrup 1-1 here.

Malic acid is a natural organic acid that is commonly found in fruits, particularly in apples. It is often used as a food additive to enhance and modify the flavour of various food and beverage products. Here are some key aspects of malic acid as a food additive:

  1. Flavour Enhancement: Malic acid is known for its sour and tart taste, which is why it is used to enhance the overall flavour profile of certain foods and beverages. It contributes a crisp and refreshing acidity that can be particularly beneficial in products where a tangy or sour taste is desired.
  2. Buffering Agent: Malic acid can act as a buffering agent in food formulations. This means it helps to maintain the pH of a product, preventing drastic changes in acidity and helping to stabilise the overall taste.
  3. Masking Agent: In some cases, malic acid is used as a masking agent to cover or mask undesirable flavours in a product. It can help balance and mitigate off-notes, making the final product more palatable.
  4. Fruit Flavours: Since malic acid naturally occurs in various fruits, its addition to food and beverages can enhance the perception of fruity flavours. This is particularly useful in products that aim to replicate or intensify the taste of certain fruits.
  5. Acidulant: Malic acid serves as an acidulant, providing the desired level of acidity in a wide range of products. This can be crucial for both taste and preservation purposes.
  6. Synergistic Effects: Malic acid is sometimes used in combination with other acids, such as citric acid, to create a synergistic effect that enhances the overall acidity and flavor complexity of a product.
  7. Preservative: While malic acid itself doesn't act as a preservative in the traditional sense, its acidic nature can contribute to the preservation of certain foods by creating an environment that inhibits the growth of spoilage microorganisms.

It's important to note that malic acid is generally recognised as safe (GRAS) when used in accordance with established food safety regulations. As with any food additive, its use is carefully regulated to ensure it does not pose any health risks to consumers.

 

5

To compress the watermelon… place the watermelon into a 250 mm x 300 mm vacuum pouch and arrange in a straight line. Add 600 g of the peach schnapps and strawberry infusion (any remaining infusion can be frozen for next time) to the pouch with the watermelon, and seal on high, removing as much air as possible without affecting the shape of the watermelon. Place the vacuum pouch in the fridge for 4 hours. After 4 hours the fruit should have absorbed most of the infusion. Open the vacuum pouch and drain the watermelon. Trim the watermelon into neat 2.5cm x 2.5cm x 5cm rectangles.

 

6

To serve… place the watermelon on to a plate and quenelle or scoop a ball of the sorbet to sit on top. Spoon some of the softened strawberries and serve with sliced fresh basil.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

This recipe by Darren Purchese is extracted from the 2013 cook book Sous Vide At Home by Dale Prentice.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the black peppercorn water infusion… preheat a water bath to 72°C/161.6°F. Place the caster sugar, water, glucose and pepper in a vacuum pouch, and seal on high. Cook in the preheated water bath for 1 hour, ensuring the sugar has fully dissolved before removing. Place the vacuum pouch in the fridge for 12 hours to cool. Pass through a sieve, reserving the syrup.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For the sorbet… measure 350 g of the syrup and mix together with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Transfer mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in the freezer to set.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

For the peach schnapps & strawberry water infusion… preheat a water bath to 55°C/131°F. Place all of the ingredients into a 250 mm x 300 mm vacuum pouch and seal under just enough pressure to remove air without squashing the fruit. Cook in the preheated water bath for 8 hours. Remove the pouch from the water bath and place in the fridge to cool for 1 hour. Pour the contents of the vacuum pouch into a muslin-lined sieve set over a container, and allow the infusion to strain overnight in the fridge. Reserve the infusion for the next step and reserve the strawberries to serve.

Recipe for sugar syrup 1-1 here.

Malic acid is a natural organic acid that is commonly found in fruits, particularly in apples. It is often used as a food additive to enhance and modify the flavour of various food and beverage products. Here are some key aspects of malic acid as a food additive:

  1. Flavour Enhancement: Malic acid is known for its sour and tart taste, which is why it is used to enhance the overall flavour profile of certain foods and beverages. It contributes a crisp and refreshing acidity that can be particularly beneficial in products where a tangy or sour taste is desired.
  2. Buffering Agent: Malic acid can act as a buffering agent in food formulations. This means it helps to maintain the pH of a product, preventing drastic changes in acidity and helping to stabilise the overall taste.
  3. Masking Agent: In some cases, malic acid is used as a masking agent to cover or mask undesirable flavours in a product. It can help balance and mitigate off-notes, making the final product more palatable.
  4. Fruit Flavours: Since malic acid naturally occurs in various fruits, its addition to food and beverages can enhance the perception of fruity flavours. This is particularly useful in products that aim to replicate or intensify the taste of certain fruits.
  5. Acidulant: Malic acid serves as an acidulant, providing the desired level of acidity in a wide range of products. This can be crucial for both taste and preservation purposes.
  6. Synergistic Effects: Malic acid is sometimes used in combination with other acids, such as citric acid, to create a synergistic effect that enhances the overall acidity and flavor complexity of a product.
  7. Preservative: While malic acid itself doesn't act as a preservative in the traditional sense, its acidic nature can contribute to the preservation of certain foods by creating an environment that inhibits the growth of spoilage microorganisms.

It's important to note that malic acid is generally recognised as safe (GRAS) when used in accordance with established food safety regulations. As with any food additive, its use is carefully regulated to ensure it does not pose any health risks to consumers.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

To compress the watermelon… place the watermelon into a 250 mm x 300 mm vacuum pouch and arrange in a straight line. Add 600 g of the peach schnapps and strawberry infusion (any remaining infusion can be frozen for next time) to the pouch with the watermelon, and seal on high, removing as much air as possible without affecting the shape of the watermelon. Place the vacuum pouch in the fridge for 4 hours. After 4 hours the fruit should have absorbed most of the infusion. Open the vacuum pouch and drain the watermelon. Trim the watermelon into neat 2.5cm x 2.5cm x 5cm rectangles.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To serve… place the watermelon on to a plate and quenelle or scoop a ball of the sorbet to sit on top. Spoon some of the softened strawberries and serve with sliced fresh basil.