Today's episode of Jeff and Martha is brought to you by Adinah Alexander, my wonderful friend who presented me this week with an ice-cream maker! (If you happen to be reading this and feel inspired to "sponsor" an episode of this blog with the gift of a necessary kitchen appliance or gadget, may I direct you to my Jeff and Martha Amazon Wish List?
Strawberry Sorbet (p. 485)
Because of the way this recipe is timed out, I had to start it the night before, by making Simple Syrup, pureeing the strawberries, and mixing the puree and syrup together to achieve the perfect balance. Martha offers up a special trick here, involving an egg, which is quite brilliant, if it works. The mix tasted a little tart to me, but I decided reserve judgment. Then this mix has to be refrigerated for a few hours before it goes in the ice cream maker.
The ice cream maker Adinah gave me is SO much better than the one I used to have. That first one was so loud I had to put it in the other room to run it. And the ice cream came out like a rock. (Mind you, I was trying to make lowfat ice cream without chemicals, which I think is pretty much impossible...) This new ice cream maker runs almost silently, and the ice cream comes out like soft serve in a quick half hour. Once the soft serve is ready, you need to put it in a container and freeze it a little longer. So between having to let the simple syrup cool for a while, refrigerating the puree for a few hours, and freezing the final product for another couple of hours, you definitely need to think ahead when you make something like this.
But the result!! Amazing! So fresh-tasting and delicious. And sweet! The sugar balance was right on - the egg trick works! And what a great consistency - hard when it comes out of the freezer, but then it loosens up in a minute and is the perfect balance of solid and creamy. A total crowd pleaser. I'm not a big sorbet eater, so I don't have a point of comparison, but I've already served this to three people, and the feedback has been unanimous: they say it tastes like the best quality sorbet, and it tastes more like the fruit itself than does your usual sorbet.
I should probably mention that Martha wanted me to put the strawberry puree through a fine sieve, which I tried, but it was so fine that I literally ended up with a tablespoon of liquid in the bowl and 2 cups of strawberry puree on top of the sieve. I ended up switching to a looser sieve, which let pretty much anything through, but I don't think this diminished the sorbet. In fact, I think the seeds and the little bit of texture enhanced things.
For the record, I've been scooping it with an ice cream scooper, which is so much more appealing than chipping it out with a spoon. I'm convinced that serving it in perfect, little, cute, round scoops makes it taste even better.
Until we eat again....