Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Orange strawberry sorbet

June is here and what better time to break out the ice cream maker (one purchase that hasn't left me guilt-stricken with buyer's remorse).  It is so rewarding making homemade ice cream--it doesn't take all that much effort and there is none of those added ingredients that you can't pronounce in your frozen dessert.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, I think it's a must purchase.  You can get a decent one for under $50 and you're on your way to homemade frozen deliciousness all summer.  Making sorbet is great too, especially if you nix the sugar and use honey, you're left with a delectable summer treat that is actually healthy! Sorbet, different than sherbet which is made with milk or cream and sometimes eggs, has a light, refreshing taste and a smooth, slightly icy consistency. 
This sorbet is so easy you barely even need a recipe and the possibilities are endless.  Here are few suggestions if you're feeling creative:

-You can use any citrus fruit such as tangerine, orange, blood orange, grapefruit, or lemon (but if lemon is what you desire you may want to up the sugar to reduce your risk of sour-lemon-face)
-Substitute blackberries or raspberries for the strawberries
-If you don't want to add any berries at all and go with a straight-up orange sorbet, then there is no need to strain. The pulp works fine in the recipe, just be sure to get rid of any seeds.
-Room temperature fruit always yields more juice so leave your citrus fruit out overnight before juicing
-Absolutely always use freshly squeezed juice
-When using other sweeteners like honey or agave nectar, use 3/4s of the amount in place of the sugar
-In this recipe, I used vodka to keep the sorbet from turning into shaved ice but you can substitute the vodka for 2 tbsp of champagne or white wine, which will really improve the consistency of the sorbet
-Don't throw the peels away! Utilize the whole fruit by making orangettes--candied orange peels dipped in chocolate--they last a while and they make great gifts!
-For more tips and suggestions, turn to the master of all things dessert

Speaking of June, aren't these peonies gorgeous? Completely off topic, I know, but I picked them from my mom's garden (because you know I didn't grow them) and I just had to share the beauty
Orange Strawberry Sorbet
Adapted from David Lebovitz's Blood Orange Sorbet

1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 navel oranges)
1/4 c. sugar (or 3 tbsp honey)
1 lb fresh strawberries
1 tsp vodka (optional) (I used orange flavored vodka)

Juice the oranges, taking care to remove any seeds.  In a small saucepan, heat sugar (or honey) and 1/4 cup orange juice over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes.  Take sugar mixture off burner and allow to cool while you prepare the strawberries.

Cut strawberries into 1/4 inch pieces and puree in a blender with the remaining 3/4 cup of orange juice until smooth. Add sugar mixture and blend on low just until mixed.

Strain into a plastic container, add alcohol if using, and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least 2 hours) before running through your ice cream maker.

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