Strawberry Sorbet – Making Sorbet is Like Navigating

We hadn’t driven unfamiliar routes enough times for me to find out whether he was one of those guys.

You know, one of those guys who have too much testosterone to unfold a map. Turn on the GPS. Ask for directions. Because you know, having an internal compass is a requisite characteristic of a real man.

But we didn’t have to.

I had strawberries, had pureed them into…puree, then chilled it. I was sitting at my desk trying to verify ingredients and ratios and techniques and tips from the open Ice Cream cookbook against recipe sites open in 14 tabs on my laptop. That’s what I do. Before I head anywhere east of the 405 freeway, I map my route on Google maps. I “show traffic.” I cross check with sigalert. I turn on the GPS in my phone and search my destination.

Before I make a Strawberry Sorbet, I recipe-tize.

“What are you doing?” he called out from the kitchen.

“I’m looking up strawberry sorbet recipes.”

“We don’t need a recipe.” He might have sounded offended, slightly alarmed, or maybe that’s my imagination re-blogging recent history.

“Ok. Well, are you going to make simple syrup 1:1 or 1:2 or…?” Ratios. I don’t use recipes often in the kitchen, but ice cream, like traffic, is science.

“Trust me.”

“I know.”

“I can tell.”

“I do it by taste.”

I am a man.”

He didn’t say the last one, and certainly not with that emphasis, but I could sense it. Hear it in the water coming from the faucet, the pot clinking against that black iron pot thing on the stovetop, the sugar “ssshing” out of the bag. He was making simple syrup. Without measuring. Like a man. Somewhere in there I rolled my eyes.

His sorbet was perfect.

I got us lost on the way to Huckleberry for lunch.

Strawberry Sorbet “We don’t need a recipe” Recipe

The reality of sorbet is that it always starts with a simple syrup, but the added sugar should be adjusted according to how sweet the fruit. This is the recipe for the Blackberry Sorbet in the Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book. It uses a sugar-water ratio that is weighted toward water, and cooks fresh berries with the syrup. We didn’t do this. We made syrup, then poured it and the strawberry puree simultaneously into the ice cream maker.

Makes about 1 pint

Sorbet Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cups fresh blackberries (we used strawberries, duh)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sorbet Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high-heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the blackberries to the syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat ti medium and simmer, stirring constantly, until the berries are soft and beginning to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the berries through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the berries with the back of a large spoon. Discard the blackberry pulp and seeds.
  4. Add the lemon juice to the blackberry syrup and stir to combine. You should have about 1½ cups liquid. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
  5. Pour the blackberry syrup into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days, before serving.
~ has a basic strawberry sorbet recipe from Sheila Lukins and Simply Strawberry Sorbet recipe that includes an egg white (wtf?)
~ Paula Deen uses lime juice (instead of lemon) and also adds corn syrup (?)
~ Both The Los Angeles Times and Yumsugar use recipes from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop book
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