Episode 34: Sweet on Strawberries: Sorbet, Gelato and More…

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

When making my beloved chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, I had some leftover chocolate. Not knowing what to do with it, I saw some strawberries in the freezer. I was surprised by how good this was. I liked the balance of using a pretty dark chocolate or a mix of dark and milk.

The River Cafe’s Genius Strawberry Sorbet

I’ve halved this recipe because my food processor and ice cream maker could not cope with the original amount. Otherwise it’s amazing.

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lemons, depending on taste
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 500g strawberries before hulling / 450g after hulling
  1. Cut the lemon in half. Roughly chop one of the halves (including the skin and pips) and remove the pips. Whizz this in a food processor with the sugar until only small bits remain.
  2. Roughly chop the strawberries and add these to the food processor and whizz until well combined. Add the juice of the other half of the lemon and combine. Taste. If you’d like more acidity add a little more lemon juice.
  3. Churn in an ice cream maker or use the stir-freeze method. Leave to freeze for several hours before serving.

Roasted Strawberry Gelato

Gelato is characterised by making a custard thickened only with egg yolks (no cream, no starch), and then churning this with flavourings. It makes for an icier, cleaner finish, whereas French ice cream is richer. This is the way to getting a very well-flavoured natural strawberry ice cream, but the quantity of berries is a lot – sorry. Gelato isn’t hard but it’s a two or three-step process. Using a standard ice cream maker I’ve found I need to freeze the bowl for 24 hours in advance. This recipe is adapted from the fab ‘Standard Italian Vanilla Gelato’ in Ice Cream, Sorbets and Gelati by Caroline and Robin Weir.

For the gelato base:

  • 470g/ ml whole milk (3.5% fat)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 105g granulated or caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100g / 5 UK large egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt

Whisk the egg yolks, salt and sugar until at least tripled in volume, very light in colour and very thick. Meanwhile, heat the milk and vanilla until steaming.

Gradually pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir or whisk in gently. Transfer to a heat proof bowl (if not already using one) set over a pan of simmering water. Keep the bowl over the simmering water until the mixture has thickened so that you can draw a vertical line on the back of the spatula (some recipes say until it coats the back of a spoon).

If you do this over direct heat it’s much more likely that the eggs will coagulate (go lumpy). If they do, knock out the lumps with a hand blender. I found, though, that the mixture became a tiny bit lumpy again after churning, so I’d avoid the coagulation altogether if possible, and this method should make it possible. Cool then transfer to the fridge until ready to use.

For the roasted strawberries:

Hull 900g strawberries. Mix with 2 tbsp/ 30g sugar. Place on a massive lined baking sheet (or two) and roast at 170C / 325F / 150 fan / gas 3 for 1 hour, or until the strawberries are very soft and surrounded by a thick glossy gloop. (Some recipes go even lower and slower – I’ve seen some that take 3 hours!) Cool and transfer to the fridge until needed.

To finish:

Churn the custard in an ice cream maker – pour it in while churning if possible. Churn for about half an hour until significantly thickened. Churn or stir in the strawberry mixture. Freeze for a good few hours. Enjoy.

Published by Kate

Home baker and now podcaster!

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