Ever carelessly sipped your orange juice after brushing your teeth? It might seem a fussy addition to your dinner party menu, but palate cleansers serve the important purpose of removing any lingering flavours from the mouth. A couple of bites of a light, refreshing flavour, such as citrus, mint or herbs, will re-set the palate after strong dishes and help guests benefit from the full flavours of the next course.
Here are three of my tried and tested palate cleansers. They are super simple to make ahead of time, and as they are all sorbets, can easily be batch made and kept in the freezer.
Rhubarb sorbet – like a cool breeze on a warm summers evening
Honey, lemon & thyme sorbet
This is a fantastic palate cleanse in summer or winter, and is particularly soothing if you have a sore throat! The flavour will really depend on the type of honey and lemons you use. I used a local organic alpine honey which has a smooth floral flavour. For the lemons, go for the biggest juiciest ones you can find!
Makes about 700ml
250ml cold water
A small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
The finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
375ml lemon juice (from about 4 large lemons)
Combine the honey, water, thyme sprigs and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the honey. Continue to boil the syrup for about a minute then remove it from the heat and set aside until cold.
Strain the syrup into a jug, and make sure you squeeze as much flavour as you can from the thyme leaves and zest before discarding them both.
Finally stir in the lemon juice to the syrup and chill until completely cold. Then churn it in an ice cream machine as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Jasmine Tea Sorbet
Fragrant and a little exotic, when the frozen crystals of this sorbet hit your tongue you’ll experience the refreshing scent and flavour of jasmine.
The zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons loose jasmine green tea leaves
Combine the sugar, water and lemon zest in a saucepan and heat gently while stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the jasmine tea leaves.
Let it all infuse for 5 minutes, then strain into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice.
Place in the fridge to cool completely before freezing in an ice cream machine as usual.
Like a cool breeze on a warm summers evening, this sorbet is the perfect taste bud cleanser for an al fresco meal.
Makes about 1 litre
50ml fresh lemon juice
450g fresh rhubarb or frozen, thawed, drained, cut into 1-inch pieces
Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil.
Add rhubarb. Simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to food processor or immersion blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate mixture until cold and then transfer to the ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
AliKats Mountain Holidays offers luxury catered chalets and self catered chalets in Morzine in the French Alps. Our award-winning food is made entirely from scratch, using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
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