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Perfect Strawberry Sorbet plus something sweet and salty

July 24, 2007

Stawberry Sorbet

The ice cream maker has not been silently resting, just because my writing skills have taken a break. Oh no, I’ve been playing and testing and taking full advantage of my fun new toy to help cool off during the unpleasant days of this New England summer. Our freezer is packed with frozen treats and I just want to keep making more. It’s so much fun. I get a ridiculous, child-like kick out of watching the liquid custards and purees slowly freeze and turn into dessert in front of my very eyes. And I get an even bigger kick out of realizing that I can bring all of my ice cream fantasy flavors to life. It’s like having my very own Ben & Jerry’s factory in the kitchen.

Not like I’ve been that creative yet. I’m definitely one of those types who likes to learn the basics before jumping into the crazy shit. And after my disastrous watermelon sorbet attempts, I felt even more strongly that I had some technique perfecting to do. Thankfully, my next sorbet turned out perfectly.

Strawberry sorbet is my all-time favorite, though I suspect that when I make strawberry rhubarb sorbet it will quickly surpass plain old strawberry in my personal ice cream hall of fame. (And yes, I know sorbet isn’t technically ice cream, but I’d rather not say frozen dessert, thank you very much.) I love the bright taste, and the way it ends up still so creamy and smooth, even without tons of added fat. It always amazes me that simple strawberries and sugar can produce something so amazing.

But how to go about this without ending up with a slushy mess, another repeat of the watermelon fiasco? I did two things differently: I used my food processor instead of our not-so-great blender and I strained the resulting strawberry juice through a strainer, pushing it though with the back of a spatula to get as much of the liquid without so much of the fiber. Yeah, I know the fiber is supposed to be the good part, but fiber isn’t conducive to smooth and creamy sorbet, methinks.

And yes, yes, this was perfect. It froze exactly right, giving me actual sorbet instead of granita-like slush. The flavors were perfect–sweet, bright strawberry with only the barest hint of lime tang. It was spectacular. I’m amazed there is still some sitting in the freezer, but my fear of colossal weight gain is holding the spoon back a little bit.

I mostly took this recipe from David Lebovitz, again, with just a few changes. I substituted lime juice for the lemon, because it’s what we had and it just seemed like a better pairing. I left out the salt, mostly on accident, but it really didn’t need any. So this was nothing but strawberry, sugar, and lime juice, and boy howdy does it rock.

Strawberry Sorbet

  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3/4 c. sugar (I used pure organic raw fancy pants sugar because it’s all they had at the hippy mart.)
  • juice from 1/2 of a small lime

In a large mixing bowl, toss the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice together until the strawberries are all well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid or something, and stick it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I believe I left mine in for three hours.

When they’re ready and sugary and juicy, process the strawberry sugar mix in a food processor or blender. I had to go in batches because I only have a mini-prep processor thing, but that worked fine.

Strain the strawberry puree through a fine strainer, pushing the juices through with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. You should have a bit of thick strawberry pulp leftover. I saved it thinking I could eventually do something with it, but nothing really came to mind, so away it went.

Once you have a smoother strawberry liquid, all pureed and strained, just process it in your ice cream maker the way god intended. Or the manufacturers. Whichever, in my mind they are pretty close to the same thing these days. It only makes about three cups of ice cream so likely won’t need the full time your ice cream maker specifies. At least mine didn’t, and it is heavenly.

Vanilla Flip

The other ice cream I made last week was inspired by our trip to the movies. Crystal and I bought a bag of our favorite treat, chocolate covered pretzels, and then didn’t end up eating them because we were so gripped by Harry Potter 5. When we got home and I pulled them out of my bad, I instantly realized they would be awesome in vanilla ice cream. I was initially going to add a stream of caramel, too, but frankly, I got lazy and this was perfectly delicious on its own.

I even decided to go for it and make a custard-based vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t nearly as tricky as I expected, although it did result in way more dirty dishes. C’est la vie. This ice cream was spectacular. The salty pretzels are a great pairing with the cold, sweet vanilla, and the chocolate bits add some visual interest and, well, chocolate, which is always welcome in ice cream. This was an inspired ice cream idea.

I followed Lebovitz’s Vanilla Ice Cream recipe to a T. Well, I actually halved it, but otherwise it’s just the same and looks to be a pretty standard vanilla ice cream recipe. You could use any vanilla ice cream recipe you wanted, and then about five minutes before it’s done processing, just throw in about a cup or two of crushed up chocolate covered pretzels. We bought Flipz, so I was running around pretentiously calling this flavor Vanilla Flip.

I think next on the list will be Mango Ice Cream–and not mango sorbet, which would be my first choice, probably, but mango ice cream. Because obviously I need to go with the fattier and more unhealthy option.

On a totally different and un-ice cream-related note, I just came across these Harry Potter recipes and it’s too much to resist. Yes I spent all day Saturday and Sunday reading Harry Potter 7. Yes, I was retardly excited and worked up about it for weeks before that, and feel a certain sense of crushing loss now that it’s all over over. But HP7 was the best of the books so far, in my ever so humble opinion. It was completely worth the wait, and worth the six years I’ve spent reading the books. And rereading the books. And rereading the books. I finished it in less than 24 hours, and I’m already ready to reread it. I’m a book obsessive dork. And now I will prolong the joyousness with some treacle tarts and chocolate frogs. Maybe I’ll even make dorky wizard and witch cards to go with the chocolate tarts. Then I will go reread the books yet again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gramma Jeri permalink
    August 27, 2007 3:05 pm

    hi,,,the strawberry sorbet sounds delicious so I will have to try it…I will let you know if it turns out as well as yours !!!everything sounds scrunptious!!!Love ya Gramma

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