I first tasted this sorbet at Rory O’Connell’s house many years ago. He gave me the recipe and now we make it for the dessert trolley at Ballymaloe House in July and August when peaches are at their best. I love to make it with the Rochester peaches that grow in our walled garden. Last year the two trees produced a couple of hundred peaches. Each fruit ripens independent of the others so for about 3 weeks I keep an eye on each peach and try to catch them one by one at the right moment. On afternoons when enough peaches are ripe I make this sorbet and serve it on the dessert trolley that evening.
You might be surprised to hear that peaches grow well in Ireland, and the truth is they actually don’t. The peach trees I just described grow against a south-facing wall and take a lot of care from Mags who manages the walled garden. They do not develop the same sweetness as their continental cousins, but when used in a sorbet-like this the additional sugar helps to push the flavour forward.
Jane Grigson, in her book Fruit Book, suggests serving peach sorbet with a splash of kirsch. A splendid idea but my first instinct is to always serve this sorbet with fresh raspberries, raspberry fool or even a raspberry jelly. Divine.
JR Ryall - Head Pastry Chef at Ballymaloe House
First, peel the peaches. Score a cross on the bottom of each peach and drop into boiling water, leave for no more than 10 seconds and transfer to iced water. The skin should now easily peel off.
Slice the flesh from the stones and place in a liquidiser with the sugar and lemon juice. Purée until the fruit is smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Pass the purée through a fine sieve. Taste and add more lemon juice or sugar as needed. Bear in mind that the sweetness of the sorbet will dull somewhat when it is frozen.
Pour the peach purée into an ice cream machine and churn according to the instructions of the manufacturer. This sorbet is best enjoyed the day it is made. Stored in an airtight container in the freezer.