Strawberry basil sorbet
One of the nice things about having a good ice cream machine, is that you can experiment with the flavours and textures to suit your palate and dietary preferences. We don’t really like very rich, creamy ice cream in our family (other than as an occasional thing). We tend to prefer gelatos (milk based) and sorbets with fresh fruit. We also have a slightly less sweet palate in that we don’t need things to be quite as sweet as normal levels. This is ofcourse largely because I always reduce the amount of sugar in any recipe I follow. As I discovered after trying to avoid sugar for 3 months in an attempt to take control of my sweet food cravings…the less sugar you consume, the less you need. Now when I eat commercially produced sweet things, I can often only taste the sugar rather than the main star of the show. Sugar ofcourse gives icecream its “mouth feel” and helps create a better, less icy texture. Same with cream – nicer in the mouth for most people (other than me – I find it greasy). But when you have a good ice cream machine, you don’t really need to worry about these things as it churns it beautifully and hence needs less of a ‘fool proof’ mixture. If you were just putting the mixture in the freezer for example, you would need all the egg yolks, cream and tons of sugar most ice cream recipes demand. But if it is being churned constantly as it freezes, your mixture can afford to skip some of these things. Sure you do end up with a slightly less creamy ‘mouth feel’ to your ice cream, a slightly icy-er texture…but the flavour benefits make this slight loss of texture worthwhile for me. This is a good thing as I really do think we all eat far more sugar than is sensible in our diabetes and obesity prone society. So enough of my lecture.
A trip to the markets resulted in a bounty of strawberries. Sorbet quickly got on the agenda. I blended two punnets of strawberries in the food processor and at the last minute I threw in a couple of basil leaves. I made a sugar syrup with equal quantities of sugar and water, using about a third of a cup of sugar. When the syrup was cool I added it to the strawberry puree and threw it all in the ice cream machine. 15 minutes later we had this gorgeous sorbet. The basil added an interesting note to the flavour so I would definitely recommend it.