Back in 2004, the folks at Cooks’ Illustrated included a recipe for Fruit Sherbet in their May/June issue. I let the idea of that recipe simmer for almost 5 years before trying it. Before I made the Blackberry-Strawberry Sherbet, I made plain Strawberry Sherbet using that recipe as a guide. I served it last month for my mother-in-law’s birthday party.
To say that I loved this recipe is an understatement. If I could eat Strawberry Sherbet every single day until my last day on earth, I would never, ever tire of it. (My friends know I don’t exaggerate.)
I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of ice creams, sorbets, and sherbets. (Because let’s face it, I am.) Oh, maybe you’ve noticed that I disproportionately post ice cream recipes over anything else. But I can’t help myself. Some people buy shoes excessively. I make ice cream.
I used one pint of strawberries and it worked perfectly.
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pint (16 oz.) strawberries, rinsed well and cut into quarters
3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
In a non-reactive saucepan, cook strawberries with sugar, water and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries soften. (About 3 or 4 minutes.) Remove from heat and puree in a blender or food processor.
Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Add the lemon juice and vodka. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to chill until very cold, about 40 degrees F. (Don’t let it freeze.)
When the strawberry puree is cold, using a whisk, whip the heavy cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. While whisking constantly, add the puree to the cream in a slow, steady stream against the side of the bowl.
Immediately start ice cream machine and pour the puree/cream mixture through the feed hole. Churn until the sherbet has the texture of soft-serve ice cream.
Transfer to a plastic container and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the sherbet. Freeze until firm, about three hours. Serve.
Makes about 1 quart.