Myrtle is a hardy, evergreen, highly fragrant shrub, with pretty white blossoms followed by shiny black berries. Native to the Mediterranean, it is most widly used as a herb on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica where it grows wild. Its berries are reminiscent of juniper and allspice, its leaves similar to bay or rosemary, imparting a bitter citrus flavour. Our myrtle grows against the south facing wall of Southrop Manor’s stables and is framed by espaliered pears … the perfect combination for an autumnal, palate cleansing sorbet. If you cannot source myrtle, substitute with one small sprig of fresh rosemary.
- 6 pears
bottle of white wine
- 500 ml water
- 500 g sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2/3 sprigs of myrtle
- 1 lemon – rind peeled into strips
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- Put all of the ingredients except the pears into a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, peel the pears and toss in the juice from the lemon to prevent any browning.
- When your poaching liquor is up to temperature, carefully drop the pears in.
- Cut a round of baking paper and cover the pears keeping them under the surface and allow them to gently tick over.Don’t allow it to boil as it will cause the pears to break apart. After about 20 mins, test the pears with a paring knife, they should be soft to the core but holding their shape.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Remove any aromats and take out the core of the pears.
- Blend with the syrup until smooth.
- Churn your sorbet; which will last well in the freezer in a lidded container.