Strawberries are a sure sign of Spring; what better way to usher in warmer weather than with a frozen treat? This recipe for Strawberry Sorbet does not require an ice cream machine, and is adaptable for your favorite fruit all year.
If you’re like me, you have a million kitchen gadgets. While I have a large electric ice cream maker, I don’t have a counter top version (and don’t really want to add one to my pantry). When I wanted to make a small batch of sorbet, I didn’t want to pull out my big machine. I knew there had to be a way to make it without a machine.
With a food processor (or a blender), a foil-lined baking sheet or pan, one and a half pounds of strawberries (or your favorite fruit), a lemon rind, some simple syrup (sugar and water), lemon juice and you’ve got sorbet.
The trick to making sorbet without an ice cream machine is to blend the ingredients, freeze them, then blend them again to make the sorbet smooth and soft. The nice thing about making sorbet yourself, instead of buying it, is you control the ingredients. Do you want less sugar? Don’t use as much simple syrup. You like a tart sorbet? Add more lemon juice. It’s all up to you.
For my sorbet, I want a level of tartness that enhances the flavor of the fruit I’m using, without overpowering the flavor of the fruit. Since every fruit is different, I add the lemon juice, a bit at a time, at the very end; tasting between additions of lemon juice.
Using one and a half pounds of fruit, I add one cup of simple syrup (one cup of sugar and one cup of water heated until the sugar dissolves – really hot tap water will work without having to dirty a pan).
When I blend the fruit and simple syrup, I always add the whole rind of a lemon. Not only does it add the flavorful lemon oils contained in the rind, but the color of the tiny bits of zest are beautiful flecked throughout the sorbet. The rind is easily obtained by peeling the outside of the lemon with a vegetable peeler, a zesting tool, or a paring knife; just be sure to avoid the white pith under the peel. It’s bitter.
So, add to the food processor (or blender) the fruit, simple syrup and lemon rind. Blend until smooth. Then, gradually add lemon juice to your preferred level of tartness. Pour the mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet (or pan) and freeze. By lining a baking sheet (or pan) with foil for the first freeze, the frozen fruit can easily be broken up and removed from the pan for the second blend.
Process the frozen mixture until it’s smooth, place in an airtight container, refreeze and you’ve got sorbet. Without an ice cream machine.
- 1½ pounds strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- Rind of one large lemon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 2½ tablespoons lemon juice
- Line a baking sheet or pan with foil, completely up the sides to secure. Set aside.
- Place the strawberries and lemon rind into the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth.
- Combine the sugar and hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved to create a simple syrup.
- Add the simple syrup to the strawberry mixture and pulse until combined.
- A bit at a time, add the lemon juice and pulse to combine, tasting between each addition until the desired level of tartness is achieved.
- Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen.
- Remove from the freezer, break up into pieces and place them into the food processor (or blender).
- Pulse until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refreeze.