11 Jul 2010

Very Strawberry Sorbet

Approx 10 servings
Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking: bring to boil + 5 mins
Cooling: 1 hr
Freezing: 4 hrs minimum

With strawberry season in full swing, I wanted to pay tribute to its unadulterated taste and was of the opinion that only homemade sorbet would achieve this true simplicity of taste. I wasn't going to fall prey yet again to offerings from high-street glaciers (ice-cream parlours) that use fruit syrups, canned or frozen fruit as the basis to their pur fruit concoctions...

Also once you get mass-market sugary ice-creams, tasteless watery sorbets and fluorescent slush puppies out of your system, you are bound to yearn for the back-to-basics homemade frozen desserts, the ones that combine only 3 ingredients like this one here, and where fresh fruit operates its magic of taste and form, with no room for colourings, preservatives, flavour enhancers and general kidding around...

For the sugar syrup, I used 'crystal' sugar, a white caster sugar used for jam making which, through its pectin content, will prevent the formation of crystals in sorbets and ice-creams.
  • 300ml water
  • 500g granulated sugar or icing sugar
  • 750g strawberries
Place a stainless steel sorbet/ ice cream mould in the freezer department. Start off by making a clear sugar syrup. Pour the water and sugar in a pan and whisk together until the sugar has melted. Bring slowly to the boil, keeping an eye on the pan at all times, as the syrup must remain clear and not caramelise. From the first bubbles that rise to the surface, count 5 mins before taking the pan off the stove.

A drop of syrup carefully placed on your finger with the tip of a fork must be sticky and well formed, and this will indicate the correct consistency. Also the surface of the syrup will show a very slight mottled effect (as if a very thin sheet of cellophane has been deposited onto the surface).

Once the syrup consistency reached, take the pan off the stove and let the syrup cool down thoroughly. Meanwhile wash and hull the strawberries, put them in a blender and blitz until they have completely liquefied. Filter the strawberry juice through a thin sieve to rid off grains and bits. Discard the grains and bits.

Add the smooth juice to the cooled syrup and mix together before pouring into the cold sorbet mould. Place in the freezer. The depth of the mould will dictate the speed at which the sorbet sets; the deeper the mould, the longer it will take.

From the moment the sorbet has just about set, start mashing through it with a fork every 2-4 hours or so to maintain a soft consistency, bearing in mind that sorbet is not as hard as ice cream.

Once you are ready to consume your sorbet, mash it through again, and roughly fashion scoops between two forks before placing into serving cups. Serve as it is. The unadulterated taste of strawberry will talk for itself and spellbound you and your guests!

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