You could also spoon a spoonful of this delicious sorbet on freshly shucked oysters.
- 500 g vine-ripened tomatoes
- ½ cup (110 g) caster sugar
- ¼ cup black tea leaves
- ¼ cup (60 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) white rice
- 2 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp vodka
- 1½ cups (120 g) finely grated parmesan
- 3 heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced
- extra virgin olive oil and basil leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Score a cross in the base of the vine-ripened tomatoes and plunge into a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel.
Combine caster sugar and ½ cup (125 ml) water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set syrup aside.
Line a wok with foil. Combine the tea, brown sugar and rice in a small bowl, and then pour into the wok. Sit a wire rack in the wok, then cover the wok with a lid and place over medium heat until you can smell and see smoke.
Place the peeled tomatoes on a plate, then sit on the rack. Cover the wok and smoke the tomatoes for 5 minutes.
Remove tomatoes from the wok and allow to cool, then pass through a food mill (mouli). (You can whiz the tomatoes in a food processor, then strain to remove the seeds and skin, but the sorbet will turn orange in colour – it will still taste great.) Stir in the sugar syrup, vinegar and vodka, then season with salt. Chill for 30 minutes.
Place the chilled mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternatively, pour mixture into a shallow container and freeze until frozen at the edges. Remove from freezer and beat with electric beaters. Pour into container and refreeze. Repeat 2 or 3 times.)
To make the parmesan crisps, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place ¼ cup (20 g) parmesan on tray and shape into a 12 cm round. Repeat with remaining parmesan to make 6 crisps. Bake for 8–10 minutes until golden and bubbling. Cool on tray.
Serve scoops of sorbet with slices of tomato. Drizzle with oil and garnish with parmesan crisps and basil leaves.
We would like to thank the generous people at Moratis for supplying us with the fresh, juicy, plump tomatoes for this story.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.