This is summer on a spoon. Although I have an almost infinite capacity for strawberries and cream (preferably sandwiched between shortbread biscuits) sometimes it’s good to try something different, not to mention less fattening.
A strawberry sorbet is ridiculously simple to make if you have an ice cream machine. If you don’t, it involves a bit more elbow grease but I think it’s worth the effort.
For adults, it’s a lovely day-glo end to a summer meal, served with a few fresh berries. Kids like it because it tastes like a proper strawberry lolly but without the danger it’ll fall off the stick and cause tears before bedtime.
You can sieve the tiny strawberry pips out at the puree stage if you prefer, but in this case I like the texture. If you’re not using the sorbet straight away and it’s frozen hard, put it in the fridge to soften for 30 minutes before you eat it.
Easy Strawberry Sorbet
900g fresh, good-quality strawberries, hulled and with any bad parts cut away
140g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
I just macerated the strawberries with a few tablespoons of sugar in the fridge overnight, whizzed them with their juices and the rest of the sugar in a food processor and left the mixture in the fridge again until the sugar had dissolved and the puree was well chilled, adding the lemon juice just before it all went into the ice cream machine.
This fitted into my schedule but if you’re in a hurry, dissolve the sugar with a little boiling water first, allow it to cool, then whizz everything together and chill in the fridge.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, following the directions for your machine. Once done, serve straight away or scrape into a tub, cover with greaseproof and a lid, and pop in the freezer (see note above).
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, follow this method from the useful and informative Ices: The Definitive Guide by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir …
Pour the mixture into a large, strong plastic box with a lid (unless you return to the food processor you’ll need room to beat the sorbet inside the box).
Freeze for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until a firm ring of ice has formed on the sides and bottom of the box, and the centre is soft and slushy.
Then either beat it with an electric hand beater or put it back in the food processor and whizz briefly. Or (says Mrs Portly) if you’re feeling particularly masochistic beat it with a fork. You’re aiming for a uniform slush. Return it to the freezer.
Repeat this process at least twice more at 1- 1 1/2 hour intervals. After the final beating, freeze it for another 30-60 minutes until it’s firm enough to serve.