Sorbet gets a bad rap.
“Why would you want to eat that when you could have ice cream?”
“That‘s gross, no thanks. I’ll take the good stuff.”
“Aww, I’m sorry that’s all they have for you…”
I’m going to make something clear here. If you think that sorbet is gross, it’s because all the sorbet you’ve had is garbage. It’s simple as that.
I can understand the aversion; lots of commercial sorbet can be incredibly icy, resembling more of of a sad popscicle that got crammed into a pint container, but know this; it doesn’t need to be this way. Real sorbet is light and bright, harnessing the pure and unadulterated essence of the fruit it was made with. In a way, it’s like a little time capsule, keeping the fruit at the peak of its ripeness so you can revisit it every time you open your freezer. Good sorbet trumps any alternative no-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, high-protein, “guilt-free” bullshit on the market today. We tried some just to see for ourselves what the fuss was all about (for science!) and let’s say that we won’t be returning to that arena any time soon. Or ever.
While Nate and I love almost everything about ice cream (eating it, making it, designing it) we understand that it's a sometimes food. So, in an effort to find a dessert lower in fat that would be a little easier on our bodies and also rid ourselves of the ungodly amount of strawberries we purchased at the farmer’s market this week (they were just so pretty) we came up with this little recipe. Using amazing strawberries make it bright and floral while the habanero lends its own sweetness to the mix along with something a little extra.
- 2 pounds ripe strawberries, tops removed
- 1 small(!) habanero
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup light corn syrup or tapioca syrup
- 2–3 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
Put the sugar and water in a sauce pan over high heat and allow the mixture to boil, dissolving all the sugar in the solution. Once it resembles a syrup, remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Spear the habanero on a fork and flame the skin over a gas burner (or with a blow torch) until the entire body of the chile is black. Remove the habanero from the fork and place in a plastic bag for 10 minutes or so, allowing the chile to sweat and its outer skin be very tender. Rub the char off the habanero, then remove the stem and the seeds, discarding them.
Put all of the strawberries and the processed habanero into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Strain it, if you like. Transfer the very fine strawberry habanero pulp to a large bowl and whisk in all the simple syrup and corn syrup. Chill in an airtight container until cold, at least an hour (we recommend overnight as it will allow the subtle flavor of the habanero to develop further).
Prepare your ice cream/sorbet churner (if you using a freezer bowl make sure that it is completely frozen—this typically takes up to 24 hours). Remove the sorbet mix from the fridge and add the lemon juice, then pour into the churning machine. Churn for 15–20 minutes, or until it becomes thick and almost smoothie-like. Transfer into an airtight container like a large tupperware; cover in plastic wrap, allowing it to stick to the entire surface of the sorbet, lid it, then chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
Serve in cups, cones, or maybe even in a spritzer for a zippy float.