Super Easy Strawberry Sorbet (with or without an ice cream machine)

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Like a bear coming out of hibernation or a literary coming out of exile, I’ve finally re-emerged. I’m sure my arrival isn’t as anticipated or dramatic as an exiled literary, but, I’ve returned nonetheless. 

So I’ve been M.I.A. for a number of reasons…mainly a very little tiny reason. I have a little bun in the oven which has been occupying most of my energy. But I’ve been itching to blog for what feels like ages. There’s something therapeutic about the discovery of cooking and the satisfaction of putting pen to paper with what I’ve learned.    

Spring is upon us so what better time to reappearing in the blogosphere than this season; a time of rebirth and new beginnings, and what better recipe than this vibrant and delicious strawberry sorbet!

So while my pregnancy left me craving certain foods, my husband has had a serious case of couvade syndrome (in which my husband, so thoughtfully, empathises with my pregnany to the extend that he has had some symptoms as well!). In the past few days, my husband has had a hankering for sorbet.

Now, being the good wife that I am, naturally I would have made him homemade sorbet if his heart so desired something sweet and cold and fruity. But, given my general tired state, I attempted to seek sorbet at a nearby establishment late one night. Now the usually suspects that are open late night, such as your fast food joints, don’t carry any time of sorbet, so we decided to hit up Dairy Queen. I suppose asking an employee at DQ if they carry sorbet is like asking McDonald’s if they carry filet mignon. Sorbet has no dairy of course, as it is a frozen dessert made with just fresh fruit which is lightly sweetened.

After my failed sorbet-seeking attempted, I resigned to making a simple homemade sorbet the following day.

Sorbet is wonderful on its own after dessert and are also often served between courses as a palate-refresher. 

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The ingredients are few and the method even simpler! All you need is water, some sugar, a lemon, and fresh fruit! I used instant-dissolving granulated sugar as it takes nearly no time to dissolve in the water but I’ve also used regular granulated sugar on many occasions, so don’t feel the need to buy this sugar if you don’t already have it. 

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I used strawberries that were just beyond their prime (slightly overripe) and the sorbet still tasted amazing!

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Simply dissolve the sugar in the water. You want to make sure the sugar crystals are all dissolved or it will make for a gritty sorbet. 

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Puree the strawberries until they are finely pulsed. You can strain the strawberries are this point if you prefer a super-smooth sorbet, but I always prefer to leave the seeds in as it adds a wonderful texture. 

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Once both the strawberries and simple syrup are chilled, you’re ready to dust off the ol’ ice cream maker and begin making your sorbet!

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During the spring and summer months, I always leave the inner portion of the ice cream maker (see below) in the freezer at all times. (I leave it wrapped in a clear plastic bag so it doesn’t get anything foreign in it.) Whenever I’m ready to use the machine, I simply grab the bowl and I’m good to go! I advise always leaving the bowl in the freezer. The bowl is a double-walled bowl (which contains a solution between the walls) which freezes below 32°F or 0°C. In a domestic freezer, this requires up to 24 hours before the machine is ready and who want to wait a full day to make sorbet, or ice cream for that matter!

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The machine will take anywhere from 15-25 minutes to churn (depending on your ice cream maker), so keep an eye on it. My ice cream machine takes about 15 minutes. The ice cream maker will simultaneously freeze the mixture while churning it so as to aerate the sorbet and avoid ice crystals, which means that your sorbet will be ready to eat the moment the ice cream maker is done it’s job. (With some ice creams, you may have to wait an hour or two for the ice cream to harden in the freezer before it’s ready to consume.)

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Once done, store the sorbet in a flat bottomed container (freezer-proof tupperware works great) and store it airtight in the freezer.

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Super Easy Strawberry Sorbet

1/3 cup (60 grams)     sugar (extra fine instant-dissolving or regular granulated)
1/3 cup (80 ml)     water
2 1/2 cups (1 pound or 454 grams)     fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons (30 ml)     fresh lemon juice (about half of a lemon)

Make the simple syrup: Over low heat, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. (It will take about 1 minutes with extra fine sugar and about 3 minutes with granulated sugar.)  Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the syrup in a heatproof container. Place the container in the fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour until completely chilled.

Prepare the strawberries: Thaw the frozen strawberries if using frozen strawberries. If using fresh strawberries, remove the stems. Cut the strawberries in half or quarters. Place the strawberries in a blender (or food processor) and puree completely (for about 1-2 minutes). Add the lemon juice. Once pureed, strain the mixture if you desire (for a completely smooth sorbet) or keep it the way it is (for a sorbet with some texture). Refrigerate the sorbet until chilled (about half an hour or so)

Combine the mixtures: Once the simple syrup and pureed strawberries are chilled, combine them together and place it in the chilled double-wall bowl/container of your ice cream machine and make according to your machine’s instructions. 15-20 minutes later, your sorbet will be ready! Transfer the mixture to a container and store in the freezer. After removing the sorbet from the freezer, allow the sorbet to come to soften for about 10 minutes (otherwise it will be too hard). The quality of the sorbet is not affected by thawing and refreezing. 

Note: Don’t have an ice cream maker? Pour the mixture in a stainless steel pot, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 3 hours. Remove the mixture and allow to thaw for about 10 minutes. Transfer the sorbet to a blender or food processor and process to make it smooth again. Place the sorbet back into the freezer and freeze for another 3 hours or so. 

RECIPES OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS: Mint and Coriander Chutney and Dashboard Cookies and Raspberry Lemonade and Veal Fricassee
and Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits and Banoffee Pie and Caterpillar Bread and Osso Buco and Apple Cinamon Rings and Beef Confetti Rice

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