Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet

Jul 7th, 2010 by Gemma

I decided an ice cream and a sorbet a week seemed a good balance. So today is the day of the sorbet. This flavour was mostly decided on the fact that I gained a new book on ice creams and we had some strawberries in the freezer. Yes, it would be great to use fresh, but we had frozen so frozen it was, and it didn’t seem to hurt it in any way.

Strawberry and balsamic have an interesting relationship. They complement each other, they really do. It was a pairing I had heard about for a while but never tried.. Michael thought I was a loon and they would never work together. But I was determined and made it anyway.

The strawberries were mixed with a simple syrup and the balsamic vinegar and then blended together, strained and chilled. I couldn’t taste the balsamic at this point but left it until it had chilled.

Just before churning I still couldn’t taste the balsamic so I started adding more, and then some more. The balsamic has a very odd effect, it makes the strawberries taste ever more like strawberries, like super intense berries! Then giving a mild kick at the end. It smelt a lot stronger than it tasted so your mind told you it was going to be really balsamic-y and instead you just got super strawberry.

A few minutes into churning the recipe called for egg whites to be added… it apparently helps stabilise and emulsify the sorbet improving the texture.. It seemed to work the day after, even a couple days after. But a week after and the sorbet seemed icier than I would usually expect, I don’t know if the egg whites had anything to do with that.

Obviously, we served it with fresh strawberries, a few splashes of balsamic over it is a nice garnish too.

Most of our taste testers approached this one with caution, like Michael they hadn’t heard of strawberry and balsamic being paired together. We got good reviews though, everyone was surprised at how intense the strawberry flavour was thanks to the balsamic. A few people would have liked to see more of a kick at the end, maybe that’s something your guests can add themselves, garnishing with balsamic to the level they like it, not everyone wants that kick at the end, finding it strong, and in some cases just plain confusing to taste in a dessert.

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