By Riki Shore
My policy these days is to not eat dessert unless it’s a special occasion. Luckily, those come around fairly often!
This past weekend we celebrated my mother’s birthday with a true Sunday lunch. We had a rack of lamb roasted with herbs and garlic, roasted asparagus and kabocha squash. For dessert, I made a coffee ice cream (my mom’s favorite), but it didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked.
Obviously, making any fruity dessert with just-picked fruit ups the ante. These berries were not only locally grown, but also perfectly ripe. All they needed was a little sugar and orange to round out the flavor before freezing.
I cooked the berries on the stove and mashed them with a spoon instead of blitzing them in a food processor. This allows some of the water in the berries to evaporate, allowing for a creamier (less icy) sorbet. It also preserves some small chunks of berries, which I think gives it a homemade yumminess.
By adding a teaspoon of vodka to the sorbet, I can assure that it’ll stay soft for a few days in the freezer. This finished sorbet even had a creamy mouth-feel, which was delightful paired with its tangy flavor.
We topped our desserts with chopped dark chocolate and candied slivered almonds. Everyone agreed that the strawberry sorbet beat out the coffee ice cream. It just seemed to scream Spring.
1 quart fresh-picked strawberries
1 orange, tangerine or blood orange
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vodka
1. Wash, hull and slice the berries into a medium pot.
2. Add the juice and zest of half the orange. Eat the other half.
3. Add the sugar and stir well.
4. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the berries are beginning to breakdown. Press any larger chunks of berries with the back of a wooden spoon to break down into smaller pieces.
5. Allow to cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream maker.