Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eats: Strawberry Time!

Hello! Went to a local U-pick farm, De Lange's Redberry, earlier this week. I was happy to learn that the patch being picked the day I went was loaded with huge berries - by huge, I mean three or four times the normal size. In no time at all I had a nearly-full flat. Very tasty too! The strawberry variety was "Jewel", I was told. 

Here's what they looked like, shortly before I began hulling and washing:

What beauties! Almost look too good to eat, but of course I had no trouble doing just that. Have been feasting on strawberries every day since - in smoothies, as a granola topping, and have made two batches of jam, using this recipe.

Never hurts to have more strawberry recipes though, so I was happy to come across this cookbook at a garage sale yesterday:

After all, who would know better about strawberry recipes than the North American Strawberry Growers Association?

When I got home and had browsed through the cookbook some more, I decided I would try this:

Strawberry Sorbet (submitted by Bela Casson)

1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, or 4 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a bowl, dissolve sugar in water. Using a blender or food processor, combine strawberries, orange and lemon juices; blend until smooth. Add sugar mixture and blend. Transfer to a bowl or ice cube trays and freeze until hard (4-6 hours). 

Break frozen mixture up in food processor until smooth as ice cream. Return to freeze and freeze until rehardened. 

Variation: Substitute artificial sweetener for sugar; sugared strawberries for fresh, reducing both sugar and water to 3/4 cup.

Notes: After making the sorbet base last night, I chilled it overnight, churned it in our electric ice cream maker and placed the sorbet in the freezer to harden. 

Here's how it turned out:

A bit sweet but still very good. From being churned in the ice cream maker, the texture is smooth. I don't know if it would have turned out as smooth if made the way the recipe was written. 

It seemed easier to let the ice cream maker do the work rather than having to process a bunch of sorbet ice cubes. But one advantage to the technique specified in the recipe is that the base could be made ahead and stored in the freezer until one is ready to process it further. 

As quickly as desserts seem to go around here, maybe I ought to make up another batch of strawberry sorbet base and store it in the freeze for a future treat!


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