Summer Strawberry Sorbet

I just got home from the farmer’s market with a load of fresh strawberries. During the peak of the season you can get 3 pints for 5 or 6 bucks. They vary from year to year and even from vendor to vendor. But this year they have been fantastic, I think it’s the heat we’re having. The only problem with bringing home 3 beautiful pints of strawberries was I still had 2 pints left-over from last weekend. The answer: sorbet. I previously wrote about the ease of making sorbet, here finally is a recipe.

For strawberry sorbet, you’ll need:
2 pints of strawberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
juice of 1/2 lemon

Start by making what’s called a simple syrup. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring so the sugar doesn’t burn. Boil until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken; don’t go so far it starts to darken.  Set aside to cool fully.

Meanwhile, rinse and prepare the strawberries. Strawberries have a fibrous and somewhat bitter hull, extending into the berry beneath the green calyx, that is best removed. To properly hull, insert the point of your paring knife into the berry at a 45 degree angle beneath the green flower. Spin the berry with one hand while moving the knife hand through an arc in the opposite direction. Imagine you are cutting a cone out of the top of the berry.

Puree the strawberries in the blender. When the simple syrup is quite cool, stir in the strawberry puree. If you don’t mind seeds in your sorbet, the mixture is ready. I prefer my sorbets to be perfectly smooth so I run it through a sieve. The addition of the syrup before straining helps it make its way through the mesh. You are shooting for 3-4 cups of this base mix.

Finally, add the mix to a running ice cream machine and let it go for 20-25 minutes. When it’s really starting to thicken up, scoop into an air tight container and let it set-up in the freezer for a few hours. Although a cup of sugar seems like a lot for 3-4 cups of sorbet, the sweetness is significantly mellowed by freezing.

Sorbet is a delicious, refreshing, and relatively low calorie dessert; about 150 calories per 1/2 cup. It also lasts a long time in the freezer. I just polished off the last of my sorbet from last summer to make room for the new stuff. After scraping a bit of ice off the top, it was still really good. If you want to get really fancy, put a scoop in the bottom of a champagne glass and cover with some bubbly good stuff; brilliant for brunch or on a warm summer afternoon.

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