Makes about 1 quart
There's a curious custom in Gascony, a region in the southwest of France known for its full-bodied red wines (its famous neighbor is Bordeaux). When they've just about finished their soup, the locals tip a little bit of the red wine from their glass into their soup bowl, mingling the wine with the last few spoonfuls of the broth.
I later discovered that this custom is equally good with a goblet of sorbet when I was scrambling to figure out a way to make this rosy nectarine sorbet a bit more special for an impromptu dinner party. I simply scooped sorbet into my guests' wine glasses at the table and let them pour in as little (or as much) red wine as they wished. It was a big success. If you have time to think ahead, prepare a big bowl of sweet, juicy berries and sliced nectarines, and let your guests add some fruit to their sorbet too.
6 ripe nectarines (about 2 pounds)
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch, or 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Slice the nectarines in half and remove the pits. Cut the unpeeled nectarines into small chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add a bit more water if necessary during cooking.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let cool to room temperature. When cool, purée the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the kirsch or lemon juice.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
VARIATION: For Peach Sorbet, substitute 7 large, ripe peaches for the nectarines. Remove the skins prior to cutting them into chunks.
PERFECT PAIRINGS: If you like the idea of red wine with Nectarine Sorbet ... serve it in goblets and pass a bottle of fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais, Brouilly, or Merlot.