Monday, June 29, 2009

Did I Mention I Love Summer?

Washington has a very sweet, and very fleeting strawberry season. The strawberries up here are like nowhere else I have seen. From the end of June through about late July, farmer's markets and quality grocery stores are carrying scads of these red wonders. What makes them even more special is that they are so delicate that they do not get shipped anywhere else in the United States, because the berries would be mush upon arrival. We here in the great Northwest get them all to ourselves!

The one downfall of our strawberries is that, consequently, they don't last very long here either. This means that when I buy a 1/2 flat of strawberries (like I did Saturday- see picture), they must be put to use quickly. But let me back up a little bit...

A couple of weeks ago our neighbor friends gave us an ice cream maker that they never use. And like I always say, if the worst thing ever is buying an ice cream maker and never using it, then the best thing ever is getting a free ice cream maker and using it all the time. In a month's time I have made vanilla and honey ice creams (repeatedly), frozen yogurt, and rhubarb sorbet. It all beats the most high end store bought frozen desserts.

Today, I decided that the purpose for all of my strawberries would be this: strawberry sorbet. I looked online and all over the place for a good recipe, and couldn't find one I liked. The problem is that they were all made of cooked syrups. This simply would not do. I have no idea why people would ruin fresh strawberries by cooking them before making sorbet. The sugar dissolves in strawberry juice just fine without heat, and it's not like berries are a tough fruit like rhubarb. I just didn't get it. I also knew sorbet could be done without cooking the berries, because I remembered doing it with fresh raspberries in pastry school.

In the end I took some quantities from other recipes and made my own. Remember summer days when you were little? When it was perfectly hot, you were running through the sprinklers without a care in the world, and for all you knew you had an endless amount of days before you had to do anything like school or work? Well, the strawberry sorbet was that in a bowl.

Strawberry Sorbet

3 pints strawberries
1/2 cup cold water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon vodka

  1. In a blender, puree the strawberries with the cold water. You may then strain to remove seeds, but I like the seeds. It also makes your sorbet go just a little bit further when you keep the seeds.
  2. In a bowl, combine the puree with the lemon juice and vodka, then stir in the sugar until entirely dissolved.
  3. Cover mixture and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and follow directions for your particular ice cream maker.
  5. Scoop frozen sorbet into a container. Seal and transfer container to freezer for several hours to allow sorbet to firm up. Or if you want to, eat it soft. It kind of tastes like a strawberry margarita.
I served (and ate) mine with shortbread cookies. It was amazing!

1 comment:

The Saunders said...

that sounds amazing :) Good Job coming up with your own recipe!