Yesterday we went to the farmers’ market to get important things like lettuce, eggs, asparagus and meat and also to predict what might show up in our CSA basket on Wednesday, the first CSA basket of the year. As sort of an afterthought, I walked up to a table with some strawberries on it. Strawberries of various sizes that were so ripe you couldn’t possibly buy them in the store. That and the ones at the store are larger and don’t vary quite as much in size and shape. Besides the boxed pints they had a dish of strawberries that people were welcome to taste. I tasted one and immediately knew we weren’t leaving without them, so I parted with $6 for two pints of strawberries. Then the question was what to do with them. They don’t stand up well to the abuse that is cobbler. Sure that’s fine for rhubarb, peaches, cherries and blueberries, but not for the gentle strawberry. I thought about making a small pie with them since two pints wouldn’t really go far, but then I thought we could make sorbet with them. That and quite some time ago, we vacuum sealed some Cedarburg Spice wine from the Cedar Creek Winery that someone brought to us a while ago. We tasted it and found it too sweet and too spicy to actually drink, but we’ve created some other lovely sorbets using fruit wines and thought we’d save it for that sort of a project. If you don’t have undrinkable spiced wine on hand, I’m sure Beaujolais, a berry wine or fruit juice would work just fine. Sadly, we’ve not used up all of this wine yet, so I vacuum sealed it again and we’ll wait for the raspberries to ripen and maybe get some mulberries from a tree on nearby public land.
Today, we pulled out the spice wine and tasted it to make sure it hadn’t turned to vinegar. And then things went like this:
2 pints of strawberries, hulled
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. wine
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer them to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is really easy and no work at all if you have a modern electric ice cream maker. The only trick there, I understand is to remember to put the insert in the freezer a day before. Our ice cream maker, on the other hand is a vintage Sears Roebuck “Maid of Honor” ice cream maker, so it’s a bit messier what with the ice and rock salt and a bit more labor intensive with the cranking, but well worth the effort. You can also freeze without an ice cream maker, but this involves putting the sorbet in the freezer in a shallow pan and stirring every so often so that large ice crystals don’t form.