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i need to cool it

Recipe: strawberry sorbet

I haven’t called. I haven’t emailed. I haven’t blogged. Summer is my busiest time of year. We’re still a month out before true summer, but as soon as the snow has cleared from the ground around our house, we call it summer. This is a painful time for me because I can’t sleep in summer what with all of this amazing daylight. You want to do everything like hike, bike, backpack, travel, cook, entertain, and meet up with all of your people. And work. I wake up with that “not enough sleep” headache and then recall all of the great things I have lined up for the day and I snap right out of sleep-deprivation into happy anticipation. The problem is that there is just too much happy going on, which as you know isn’t really a problem…

andrew at atlas

this is what happens when the curious get their hands on your unattended camera

oh i love me some salad (mod market in boulder)

At a recent stitch-n-bitch, it came to my attention that some of my friends cringe at the sight of their photographs appearing on urb. We are, of course, our own worst critics. While my friends are beyond beautiful to me, I’ll just stick to the food and the crafts. This time we had a special SNB for one of the lot who will be wedded in less than three weeks. We made the favors for her wedding and they are oh so adorable – honey from her own bees. Manisha and I will be shooting the wedding, so I guess she knows to expect 95% food shots – KIDDING!

nichole’s fabulous grilled vegetable salad

rose lemonade

the favors are all done

It was a lovely weekend here with sunshine and oodles of bird activity. I have yet to get myself down to the Boulder Farmer’s Market because I really prefer to remain up in the mountains on the weekends. Jeremy and I spent most of the weekend working, but we did manage to get out for a survey of our local woods. The snow is almost completely melted and the aspens have yet to sprout their shiny green leaves. However, I spied many many arnica leaves emerging from the forest floor and to my delight – the pasque flowers are in full bloom. Yay for summer!

kaweah settles into her brutal summer routine

our pasque flowers are in bloom

I’m fairly certain in one month I’ll be moaning and groaning about the “heat” and wishing for fall to bitch-slap us back into reality. For now though, we are very much enjoying those fruits that usher in the summer months. Strawberries do exactly that. When I see those luscious deep red berries appear in the stores it makes me want to jump up and down and clap my hands.

i love me organic strawberries something fierce

hulling the berries

It’s a wonder that I post as many fruit recipes as I do because my favorite way to enjoy fruit is to eat it straight. My second favorite way to enjoy fruit is to have it in a sorbet when the heat starts to make me cranky – around 70°F. Dairy messes with my tummy, so I always opt for sorbet. After devouring strawberries in California on our last photo shoot, I declared, “I need to make strawberry sorbet.”

add water

blender the hell out of it

Sorbet is so simple: strawberries, sugar, water, lime or lemon juice, a little bit of booze. I debated whether or not to leave the seeds in, but wound up a little obsessed with getting a silky texture. Because the seeds were so darn small, they would pass right through all of my sieves except for my one fine mesh sieve. Oh boy – that took forever (okay, it took 45 minutes). “This had better be worth it,” I muttered to Jeremy. To pass the time, I asked him some hypothetical questions on the Earth’s gravity as we pass through the center of the planet.

strain baby, strain

some citrus to give that extra boost of flavor

Nary a seed made it into the sorbet, which is nice because they always manage to lodge themselves in a couple of irritating crevices in my molars. I stirred in a little gin (had no vodka on hand) because a bit of booze helps to keep it smooth and soft. It lowers the freezing point of the liquid and results in finer crystals. The original recipe called for far more sugar than I thought necessary, so I reduced the sugar and found it to be just right for my tastes.



Once the slurry was mixed together, I let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before churning it in the ice cream machine. My friend told me his favorite stage of ice cream was when it came right out of the machine because it was still soft, but frozen. I dipped a spoon into the sorbet as it spun around. It felt like silk on my tongue. Silky sorbet is hard to beat.

pouring into the ice cream machine

ready for the freezer

The 45 minutes of pressing strawberry purée through the sieve was worth it. Jeremy doesn’t usually dig on the sorbets because he has a regimen of ice creams to finish (I always have egg yolks leftover, so I always make ice cream and it is his job to eat them), but he was particularly fond of the strawberry sorbet. A keeper!

keep cool as the mercury rises

Strawberry Sorbet
[print recipe]
adapted from Group Recipes

1 lb. ripe organic strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar (more to taste)
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp vodka
a pinch of salt

Purée the strawberries and cold water in a blender until smooth. Strain the purée through a fine mesh sieve if you want a smooth sorbet. If you want the seeds in the sorbet, then skip the straining. Stir in the remaining ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate the strawberry purée until it is cold. Pour the contents into your ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes per the instructions on your machine. Freeze. Makes just under a quart.

45 nibbles at “i need to cool it”

  1. Memoria says:

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I want this so bad!!! Goodness!! I just wish there were an non-alcoholic substitute for the vodka or gin. :( boohoo. I guess I could see how it turns out without it. It will most likely be just for me anyway!! :D

    I love your handwriting on the cards (is that your handwriting?). Lovely post as usual, and get some rest! :)

  2. Eglė says:

    This sorbet looks fabulously delicious :) Waiting for strawberries to show in our markets. Hope this will come as soon as possible.

  3. sasa says:

    Sorbet is welcomed by many people in summer.But i have not made it at home.When i want to eat it,i buy it from the shop.

  4. Nan says:

    Your sorbet looks like just the ticket for smooth strawberry delight. I’m cranking up the blender and ice cream maker when the farmer’s markets kick into gear next week! Maybe a little (or a little bit more) tequila for the booze component? I think Kaweah has the right idea about how to spend those warm summer days…

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Those favors are awesome! And the sorbet – wow. Can’t wait for the photos.

  6. Phoo-D says:

    The sorbet looks amazing! I love fresh fruit sorbets and think they are one of the best ways to enjoy summer. You’re right that straining it all through a fine mesh sieve is a total pain in the arse. I grew so frustrated with the speed of my straining I finally broke down and bought a chinois. If you can ever find black raspberries or concord grapes they make incredible sorbets too.

  7. Mulan says:

    Mmmm – delish! xxx

  8. Rosa says:

    That sorbet is terrific! What a lovely texture and cool!



  9. Shannon Lajoie says:

    Sigh. I love your blog.

  10. Wei-Wei says:

    Oh, look at the colour of that sorbet! Those strawberries look beautiful. The sorbet even more beautiful.

    Delicious! So summery.


  11. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Jen, that’s stunning! My mouth is watering! Tell Kitt that the favors turned out amazing looking–she’s so lucky to have you guys!

  12. Andrea says:

    You two are such scientists, it’s great! I think this is the perfect first recipe to make in my new ice cream maker! I just love that vibrant colour…it almost makes me want to lick the computer screen!

  13. Maria says:

    That last photo is beyond stunning! Perfect summer treat…too bad it is snowing in Utah today:(

  14. Jessica @ How Sweet says:

    Beautiful! That looks incredibly refreshing. I am also intrigued by the grilled vegetable salad. It looks wonderful.

  15. bunkycooks says:

    Looks like great weather in CO now (the dog is enjoying it!). The photos are beautiful, especially of the strawberry sorbet. WOW!

  16. Kath says:

    “kaweah settles into her brutal summer routine” made me LOL!!

    Strawberry / sorbet pix made me DOL (Drool Out Loud) :-)

    Happy Summer – hope I get to see you soonish!


  17. Patricia Scarpin says:

    That is such a beautiful color – so vibrant, Jen! Soon we’ll be having strawberries here (in the winter, unlike you). Yum!

    Oh, those wedding favors are so pretty!

  18. Jaime says:

    Must. Make. Very. Soon.

    Oh my goodness that sorbet looks delicious.

  19. Manggy says:

    When it’s this ridonkulously hot here, I appreciate a sorbet even more than ice cream (and it kinda feels healthier too, hehe ;)
    There are times I feel shy about my picture being out there, but in the end I realize it’s probably better that people kind of recall that I, dunno, once existed or something? (No sense!) To put it into perspective, I get kind of sad when my friends post pictures of themselves at parties I wasn’t invited to.

  20. Caitlin says:

    That’s one way to pass the time, asking about earth’s gravity – I tend to ask the fiance to narrate whatever video game he’s playing :) I adore sorbets, although there was a learning curve there; I grew up loving the creaminess of ice cream, so the brightness of sorbets turned me off for a while. Luckily, not anymore!

  21. eula says:

    oh my goodness. that looks divine.

  22. Suhartini Perkins says:

    Yummyyyy!! Thanks for sharing : )

  23. Fiona says:

    Love sorbet, and while you were blogging I was out buying…organic strawberries! Coincidence? I think not. Also, I noticed that teensy bit of science you tossed in. Nice.

  24. heather says:

    strawberry season can’t make it to minnesota fast enough. YUUUM! and at 96 degrees today, even hiding out in the a/c needs to be accompanied by this frozen deliciousness!!

  25. Mrs Ergül says:

    Wow! Love the intense redness of the sorbet! I am after the fresh loot you have there! Those berries that have arrived on my shores don’t look half as good as yours…..

  26. Ruth Ann says:

    My 10 year old saw the photos and said “Mommy can you make that?!” Looks too yummy. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Jillian says:

    I love that dog.

  28. Eesh says:

    That sorbet looks great– an unbelievable color. Too bad I’m going to miss the bulk of strawberry season as I head off this week to run a survey in rural India. I’ll miss your posts in the meantime!

  29. Peggy says:

    I’ve been trying to think of the next use for my ice cream maker, and this sorbet is definitely going to be it!

  30. Denise @ Creative Kitchen says:

    Love the pic of the dog, the deck and the VIEW!! Is that your view??? I love TREES!!! What an amazing deck to sit on!

  31. Nicole says:

    I need this to get though our hotest summer yet!

    Just looking at it makes me feel a lot cooler and I can’t wait to try it on my own.

    if I put vodka in it will I be able to taste the vodka? not a huge fan of booze, but I want that silky texture.

  32. jenyu says:

    Memoria – the added alcohol is to help keep it smooth. I’m sure it would be great without.

    Phoo-D – that’s a good idea. I always hate it when I have to strain fruit through my fine mesh sieve, but then it’s always long enough between recipes that I forget how much of a pain it is. I should totally get a chinois.

    Jessica – yes, I am thinking that I *must* try to make a salad of grilled veggies this summer. Sounds so good, no? I’ll post here if I do :)

    Kath – I *did* get to see you!!

    Patricia – wow, strawberries in winter? I’m moving in with you!

    Manggy – I don’t like having my picture out there, but as a photographer and blogger, it’s ridiculous for me to NOT expect a photo every now and again. I just try to pretend it isn’t there ;) Hon, don’t get down about the parties you weren’t invited too. You’re busy enough that you probably can’t GO to all of those parties anyway! My friends mix and mingle with their own crowds – we all have different circles and some overlap, some don’t. I’m just happy whenever I can find the time to see my pals.

    Fiona – you know, I always intend to make sorbet when I buy some luscious basket of fruit and they only wind up being sorbet about 5% of the time b/c I eat the fruit instead :)

    Ruth Ann – awwww! That’s so cute!

    Jillian – if you were here, she’d love you right back (she loves everyone).

    Eesh – have fun!

    Denise – yup, that’s our view :) It’s “average” for our hood.

    Nicole – you can’t taste the vodka at all. You’d need to add a lot more to taste it ;)

  33. The Cilantropist says:

    The color of this sorbet is stunning! So vibrant and just happy. :)

  34. Strawberry Basil Sorbet Recipe | Two Peas & Their Pod says:

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  35. wendy says:

    would vanilla be a replacement for the alcohol? i too would love to try but wish there was a substitute for the booze.

  36. jenyu says:

    wendy – you can probably omit the vodka. Although it won’t come out as smooth, it will still be good!

  37. Lyndsay says:

    I made this with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Amazing. It didn’t even make it to the freezer because DH and I devoured it! The easiest recipe I found when I googled strawberry sorbet (My kitchen is too hot tonight to deal with making a simple syrup), and it was so good. Thanks!!! I’m glad I found you!

  38. NicoleK says:

    I have been adding rhubarb from the garden to our sorbet. Tangy and delicious.

  39. marla says:

    The color of this sorbet is breathtaking!

  40. Cookin' Food says:

    We just made strawberry sorbet! Isn’t is good? Our recipe uses lemons and goes straight into your freezer! No ice cream machine or attachment needed!

  41. Bvrboo says:

    Do you have to use the alcohol?

  42. jenyu says:

    Bvrboo – no, you don’t. Although I think the alcohol helps to maintain a smoother consistency.

  43. karen says:

    Can you do without the ice cream machine?

  44. jenyu says:

    karen – I’m not sure. I bet you could try. At the very least you could try freezing it in a container then scraping it (almost like you would with a granita) to serve? It won’t be as smooth, but it will still be good!

  45. TanteReny says:

    We used 360 Double Chocolate vodka and honey to make this. It was amazing.

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