19 July 2012

roasted peach sherbet


Hi everyone. I don't consider myself an expert at all on food photography or someone who should be giving tips. I live for where other food bloggers give lighting tips, they are always so helpful. But I thought I would share my piece of advice that I did when I was shooting these photos.

Ok here are the first two shots:



Do you see how the light is fine? Perfectly acceptable, but still not very special. The amazingly fresh peaches, so ripe that you touch them and they bruise, are looking a bit dull. The light is not accentuating their juicy flesh. The soft and subtle light is not working in these two photos, for me. So I decided to switch it up a bit. In these first two photos, the light source, a window, is coming from slightly above and to left.

In these next three photos I switched the light to where is was coming from above and directly behind the peaches.
Notice the deeper shadows? The glistening flesh of the fruit and the shine that you can see in blade of the cleaver? A much more intriguing photo to me. 

So for anyone beginning food photography and having trouble with lighting, here's my tip. Move your subject around and taking photos from where the light is coming from all different angles. You never know what you are going to like or what is going to work for your aesthetic until you try all possibilities. and have fun! Don't be too serious :)




and now on to the sherbet



So on Sunday, my Sous Chef at work was telling me about this amazing peach stand just a bit up from where we work. The guy only sells peaches, ones he picked just that morning, minutes before he brings them to the stand. People line up for these peaches and they all sell out incredibly fast. We must go take a field trip there today, she said. It sounded amazing. Then her end on savory got a bit busy and my end on pastry got a bit slow. So while I was trying to work on a new recipe, making many variations of it, she thought I should use currants in the recipe instead of raisins. So shoved a five in my hand and sent me off to the store to go get some. Yay! Outdoors time! I thought. Then she went, Wait. You have to go get some of those peaches too! So with a bit more cash, I was off. 

After getting a box of currants I figured out my way to the peach stand. Just on the side of the road, on the way out of St. Helena. It was just a bit before 8 am and there was already probably a dozen cars waiting for the man to swing back the fence so they could all get to the stand. I didn't realize it really would be that popular. So when 8 am rolled around, all the people jumped out of their car and hauled ass to get in line to buy boxes of them. So I waiting patiently, in the very cold wind behind an old man that kept looking at me and saying 'These boxes are mine! I called them! Go find your own' 'Okay....' I said, not that I had even went to grab them or even had been looking at them. So I picked out my chosen ones and it was back to work I went.

And the peaches really were amazing. They were so ripe and juicy. I knew I had to make something with them fast because I didn't want them to spoil. So after searching for something to do with them, I remembered my ice cream maker. Oh, I can make peach ice cream! I thought. Oh wait, I have no milk and not enough cream. Scratch that. Well, I will just do peach sorbet! was the next thought. But then it came to me. Sherbet! the perfect compromise. I had just enough cream to do it. 

And it was great. Mine did freeze up, though. Quite a bit. Maybe I under-churned in the ice cream maker? Maybe over-churned? Or perhaps my ratios of ingredients are just a bit off so where it freezes to that proper ice cream consistency. Either way, I just let it thaw a bit on the counter, maybe 10-20 minutes and it was perfect.





Roasted Peach Sherbet

makes 1 quart

7 peaches
zest and juice of 1 moderately sized lemon
148g white sugar, plus a handful additional for sprinkling
236 ml heavy cream

Oven 400F.
Cut the peaches into quartering, discarding the pits. Place on a baking sheet, flesh up, and sprinkle with a handful of white sugar. 
Roast for 30 minutes. 
(When done, you can remove the skins if you like, but I preferred to leave them on. It adds a bit of a nice texture)
Then place the peaches and the rest of your ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Place in container and chill until completely cool, at least 1 hour. 
Then churn in an ice cream maker and freeze until set.





dervla @ The Curator said...

Wow, love the tips and these photographs are really gorgeous! Peach Sherbet sounds amazing. Gotta try it.

Cathy said...

Gorgeous. It's always gorgeous and I consider you a food photo professional :)

Cathy Trails

Anonymous said...

Try using natural organic full fat yogurt (the fat's not the problem, sugar is, and there's a higher percentage of it in low fat yogurt). It makes the most wonderful creamy textured ice-cream.

Nicole @Eat This Poem said...

Simply stunning! Can't wait to make this soon.

Athena said...

awesome post julie... I like your tip and of course your photos are tops and really illustrate your points. Gotta try this sherbet as I just got an ice cream maker, finally!

M.E said...

Your pictures are beyond stunning, what a fantastic recipe, thanks for sharing :)

Inka said...

amazing pictures !!!

leemz said...

I have some peaches lying around, didn't know what to do with 'em till I saw your post. :)

JustInka said...

Nice way to use peaches :) Never thought of that :)

lucy said...

assolutamente foto perfette!incantata

Katerina said...

Look delicious and easy to make! Thank you so much for your helpful advice, I'm very new and I'm trying to find my way. I can see my mistakes on my photos but sometimes I don't know how to fix them.
So thanks again!


lindarfar said...

Haha, the story about the peaches is hilarious! People get really fanatical when it comes to delicious food. My family's fanatical about muscat grapes. Every year, come the season, you're likely to find my mom making away with half a vendor's stock.

Carla said...

Beautiful photography! I'm just starting to get into food photography, and was wondering, what kind of lens are you using? Is it a 50 mm lens? Also, my house doesn't have a lot of light--so frustrating when I have baked something I'm so proud of and can't capture it properly! What would you recommend? Would appreciate any tips! Thanks, Carla. :)

DORRA said...

LOVE it! Thanks so much. : )

Laura Dembowski said...

Looks and sounds so good. I love anything with peaches! What a great story about the guy who sells peaches too.

Twinks said...

The pictures are so amazing...you are an incredible photographer and you think of the neatest things to make on the spur of the moment. It makes my mouth water for some of your peach sherbert!!!!
Wow, I love fruit that actually has a real taste....which are so hard to find!

Carol | a cup of mascarpone said...

Incredible photography, not to mention how absolutely delicious the peach sherbet looks!

thecitygourmand said...

Wow, now I properly do want to purchase that ice cream maker i've had my eye on!

Tamarin said...

I completely agree with Ms. Cathy. You're definitely a photo pro!

MoonFaCe said...

Peaches sherbet..mmmm...Yummy!! Loved the lighting tips. Would love to hear more tips and techniques from you. You are a very talented photographer!

Rhubarbarians said...

I just started blogging and am really trying to figure out the right way to take food pics. I LOVED this post. Very helpful and inspiring.... and that ice cream looks amazing. :)

Holly said...

I appreciate the lighting advice, and plan to follow your suggestions tomorrow when I shoot. I also must try that peach sherbet. It looks so delicious!

leetal. arazi. said...

great post! love the mood you captured in the photos!!

Anonymous said...

Love this! Thanks for the photography advice. I have been thinking I need to start playing around a bit more...and using a camera instead of my iPhone...
The sherbet looks delicious - I have filed it away for when summer returns to Australia!

Alicia said...

Stunning photographs and what a novel way to use peaches. I've never thought of roasting them but it makes sense especially when its so hot outside and the idea of peach pie sounds good in theory but in reality sherbet sounds much better! Thank you!

Ash said...

I must say... I might really need to try this!


Qué bonitas fotos!

Rosita Vargas said...

Me encanta el helado y sus maravillosas fotos.... felicitaciones por todo,abrazos hugs,hugs.

susan said...

Those are truly beautiful shots. Love your use of props and the sherbert looks like a wonderful treat. I make lots of ice cream but have never made sherbert. This is going to the top of my list!

Erica said...

This looks insanely delicious!

Margherita said...

Amazing! There's no better words to describe this beauty. I really want to try the taste of roasted peaches in the ice-cream: must be amazing!

Bella said...

goooosh ! I want it *-* you're great !:)

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Anonymous said...

Followed this to the letter, but added a splash of Grand Marnier after blending the mixture to stop it freezing up too much. Worked a treat! Recommended.