Monday, May 6, 2013

Seasonal Berry Sorbet

 Found Treasures

A few years ago I got a box freezer.  I'd never had one before and wondered just how different is it?  It's more energy efficient. You can pack a lot in it, but if you've packed a lot in, some things end up on the bottom. And those berries you thought you had, could end up buried until next spring.

That's how I got the strawberries to make this sorbet. I found two bags at the very bottom of that box freezer! (And one luscious bag of mulberries!)  Wow--was I thrilled! I love berries, and I remembered that I'd used my Food Sealer on them as an experiment. I froze the strawberries first.  I lopped off the tops off and placed the juicy berries on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  I froze them, then put them in a food sealer bag.  These frozen berries are usually gone by December for us, but then last year was my first season with my food sealer.  And with the food sealer, strawberries don't have the freezer burn issues, because all the air is sucked out of the bag.

During the spring and summer, I get berries at the farmers' market.  

Berries at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco
Ring around the strawberries 

I usually buy enough strawberries to freeze.  I froze about four pint sized bags, and we'd gone through all the blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, so I thought we'd tasted the last strawberries long ago. I  never expected to find two overlooked bags. So making this sorbet felt a little like a gift.

Spoiler alert:  Hidden treasures can be found in your own freezer!  And, I think I saw a least one container of pie cherries on my way to the bottom of the freezer.

I had some blood oranges and satsumas.  What's up with the long citrus season?  I don't recall blood oranges lasting till May last year.  What ever the reason, I'm crazy about blood oranges and it sounded like a perfect pairing with strawberries.

My Cooking Assistant and his apple, posing with the ingredients

If you have fresh strawberries, they can work too, but freezing berries breaks the cell walls and renders them juicier for the sorbet.

I was recently told that frozen foods don't taste as sweet as they do at room temperature. Oh, so that's why ice cream and commercial sorbet is so sugar laden.  Most people like a sweeter strawberry, so you may want to add a bit of sugar, or why not sprinkle a little stevia over the berries, if you don't want additional sugar.

Check out how much liquid is released from the frozen berries.  Don't be fooled into thinking this tastes like the frozen strawberries from the grocery store.  Those are generally laden with lots of sugar and taste quite a bit sweeter.

Real fruit sorbet can be so beautiful with the red, purple and golden colors of fresh summer fruits.   And so healthy if you make it yourself.  The only downside is, it's not a keeper.  If you leave it more than a few days in the freezer, the molecules link up and it becomes very hard with grainy crystals.

Commercial ice cream and sorbets have "stabilizers" and additives to prevent the texture from becoming hard.  

I like the idea of enjoying real food right now.  It's the perfect time for a backyard part.

Enjoy life at your own pace

Blood-Orange and Strawberry Sorbet
(Serves 6)
Remember to freeze the base of your ice cream maker for 24 hours before making this recipe.  If you don' t have an ice cream maker use the stir and freeze method.  Place in the freezer, then remove and blend every hour, until it becomes too stiff.  (This method  takes a long time and the sorbet does not get as smooth as the icre cream maker method.) The sorbet that comes straight from the mixture is very mushy.  You can let it keep churning for 40 minutes, but it will still be soft.  Leave it for an hour or two in the freezer and the texture will be perfect.  Enjoy the moment with this recipe.

4 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup fresh squeeezed blood orange juice
1 ripe banana, sliced
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup sugar 

1. Puree berries, juice and banana.  Add sugar as desired.  More sugar brings out the strawberry flavor a little more.  Place mixture in the freezer for about 15 minutes before starting.  

2. Pour into the frozen freezer base and churn for about 35 minutes.  Mixture may be slushy.  Freeze.  Remove from freezer after an hour and stir.   It should be the texture of sorbet in a few hours.  This dessert does not keep well because the liquid molecules link up, making it the texture hard.  It is best eaten soon after making or leave it out to thaw a bit before eating.

Please may I have some now?

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

Move over Finn, that's my bowl. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a very special Mothers Day Weekend and come back soon!
Miz Helen