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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strawberry-Tarragon Sorbet

We had a dinner party last weekend and Mrs. Fellow went all out. The menu was huge:

Shrimp and corn chowder
Watermelon and feta salad with Serrano Chile dressing
Roasted leg of lamb, lyonaise pommes anna, roasted asparagus
Salad du Printemps (from the French Laundry Cookbook) - Candied fennel, rhubarb confit, mascarpone ice cream, and oranges.

I made this sorbet for the palate cleanser between the salad and main courses. It is adapted from The Sweet Life, by Kate Zuckerman. People frequently refer to sorbets as refreshing. If that is what you want, than this one won't disappoint. My daughter loves this stuff she is eating her way through the leftovers with enthusiasm.

The texture and look are very creamy despite the lack of dairy. I think you will like this one. Strong berry flavor matched with a perceptible licorice taste.

Some tips:

  • You can use less than perfect berries because they macerate for a while. Just increase the maceration time if they are too tart.

  • If you still find the final product to be too tart, feel free to add more sugar. However, because the mixture will be cooler and not easily rewarmed, you may want to try superfine sugar. Its smaller crystal size makes it easier for the sorbet to absorb without extra heat.

Strawberry - Tarragon Sorbet

2.5 pounds of ripe strawberries
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
2 TBL corn syrup
1 ounce fresh tarragon (left whole on the stem)

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut them in half. If the berries are not perfectly ripe, macerate them with the sugar for 10 - 15 minutes to get them nicely juicy.

  2. Put the water, berries, and corn syrup into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries get very soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the tarragon, simmer for one more minute. Then turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the tarragon. Puree the berries (I used a stick blender, but you can transfer to a regular blender).

  5. Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

  6. Cool to room temperature then chill overnight.

  7. Freeze in your ice cream machine.

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