Rather than cuisine to take into the backcountry, this one’s about bringing a little cuisine out.
If you’re above the tree line in late summer, keep your eyes peeled for the New Zealand snowberry.
In the austere world above the tree line, these guys are quite an exception, producing white or pink berries with a taste reminiscent of lychees.
Central Otago’s gold miners apparently used to make pies out of them, but these days they’re all but ignored by backcountry travellers, which is a shame because it’s possible to make some fantastic dishes out of them like this sorbet. Sadly, the need for refrigeration means this is one to make at home – unless you’re near a glacier… and very keen.
200g of snowberries – juiced
2 lemons – juiced (and rind half of one)
One litre of salt water (with about three tablespoons of salt)
A handful of mint for garnish if you see it growing wild
Place the salt water in a large durable container and place in the freezer. While the salt water is chilling, mix one part water to one part sugar in a saucepan, heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved
Add the snowberry and lemon juice. The ratio of sugar to water to juice should be about 1:1:2, but it’s best to taste it before freezing and adjusting to account for the varying sweetness of the berries and acidity of the lemons.
Place the final mixture in a bowl and place inside the bowl containing the chilled salt water and return them to the freezer. Leave for half an hour then mix thoroughly with a stick blender. Repeat until the sorbet reaches a smooth creamy consistency. Then serve with a sprig of mint for garnish.