Summery strawberry sorbet

15 May

Strawberry sorbet

Although summer is more than a month away, I wanted something lighter in tone, mouthfeel, and even in work for Mothers Day–and this was what I did. It was perfect, made for leftovers (a nasty word I need to find a better one for!) and I even ate the last of it tonight with MM on a bench in the open, warm air. Could anything be asking for summer more? I say no!

Nutritional plusses:

Strawberries are one of the most vitamin-packed of the fruits; other berries are also in this group. A good diet should be filled with the “rainbow” of foods, and the reds are nutritional stars. This is a great way to get in a serving of fruit, too!

Not that it’s hard to get, but this sorbet is high in vitamin C. (A myth debunked: no, this is not going to help you prevent colds like you think it will; vitamin C is actually used by your body for building and maintaining connective tissue, such as collagen and elastin. Think of it as the scurvy vitamin, since it was discovered when sailors packed their vessels full of citrus fruits and didn’t get the dreaded pirate-y disease. So next time you start sniffling, don’t reach for the chewable orange-flavored C tablets or loading up on OJ. It might taste good, but it’s only supporting Californians and Floridans; not your immune system. For that, consult vitamin E, among other things.)

Oh, also–this is also high in fiber and that hot word of the cosmetic and food world, antioxidants, so eat up! Fiber is a hard one for most Americans to get into their diets. This is a delicious way to do it–try it on your kids!

Summery Strawberry Sorbet

From raw to eating: 8-10.25 hours (Or overnight! Don’t be scared about the time; you’re doing yourself a favor by getting this done ahead of time—there’s hardly any active, “over the stove” prep time involved.)

Makes: 6-8 servings

I used strawberries, but almost anything else will work…I’ve done pear, other berries. I wonder about apple? Probably great! Especially the sourest ones. As usual, I advocate shopping in season and locally as you can, so don’t feel held to strawberry if you don’t have some priced well or in season near you.

Most sorbet or granita recipes will tell you to scrape your becoming-frozen treat every hour or so to encourage even freezing and prevent forming one big lump of ice. I, however, can’t be bothered to be a prisoner in my own house to baby-sit food if I don’t have to. I put it in the freezer and make up for the ice block-ness later by scraping and stirring. However, you’re welcome to opt for the formal route; in this case, check every hour or so, scraping frozen bits into the not-frozen puree to make it all freeze evenly.

Inside:
Simple syrup (a one-to-one ratio of sugar to water, boiled):
1 ¾ C granulated white sugar, divided
1 ¾ water

Fruit sorbet base:
2 pts fresh strawberries, tops cut and halved or quartered (depending on size)
3 T lemon juice, fresh or bottled

Outside:
Medium saucepan
Wooden spoon, for stirring
Heat-proof bowl
Blender
2-qt container for freezing

Place a medium saucepan on medium heat. After a few minutes, it’ll have heated. Then put ½ C sugar and 1 ¾ C water in the saucepan. Stir to combine. Heat until boiling; boil for a few minutes. Remove from heat (keeping burner on—you’ll use it again). Pour simple syrup into a heat-proof bowl and set aside.

Put fruit in the same pan you used for making the simply syrup, with the burner still on medium. Add lemon juice and remaining ¼ C water and ¼ C sugar. Stir to combine. Cook until fruit is mushy; I always tell cooks that when you can smash the fruit with the back of a spoon, it’s ready.

Dump cooked fruit mixture into a blender. Blend on medium speed (or whatever you want, frankly) until it’s very smooth and no lumps remain.

Pour simple syrup and fruit mixture into 2-qt container and stir until combined. Give the container a few good shakes and taps like you would with a cake. Set aside until cooled so you don’t raise the temp in your freezer too much and introduce savory food-borne illnesses into neighboring foods.

Once the mixture is cooled, freeze for 8-10 hours, or overnight. (I highly recommend the second option.) Before serving, scrape the sorbet so it’s not one big ‘ol block of ice for those eating (it will be at first).

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