We couldn't let the strawberry season pass us by without getting out the ice cream maker, now could we? We made sure the canister was in the freezer and ready to go so we could make this Strawberry Sherbet!
The strawberries are used in two ways for this sherbet, the first being laced with sugar and pureed smooth once the juices had dissolved the sugar granules. To keep this part ultra smooth, we did strain away the tiny seeds before continuing on. Is that a must? Not necessarily, but I think it helps with the appearance. Since the berries are plenty sweet already, instead of using plain milk as the majority of the liquid, sharp buttermilk is used, which helps keep the balance in check. If you do find your berries are not up to par, you may want to think about increasing the sugar slightly to give them a boost.
To improve the mouthfeel of the sherbet, a bit of half-and-half was also poured in, along with a couple squeezes from a lemon, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt, rounding out the base with a fragrant note. To ensure this can churn properly and you end up with the best texture, this pink base will now need to chill for a couple hours before pouring into an ice cream maker. Remember how I said the strawberries are used in two ways? Once you've added the base into the maker to begin firming up, when there are just about 5 minutes left to the process, the remaining chopped berries are added so they retain their shape and freshness.
You could serve this right away with a soft serve quality, but I scooped it into another bowl and let it ripen in the freezer before we started dishing it out. If it ends up sitting in the freezer for awhile, you will want to let it soften slightly in the refrigerator first as the sherbet will be quite firm. Just sweet enough, with a luscious tang from that thick buttermilk, Jeff and I found this incredibly refreshing and quite light on the tongue. The one quibble I have was about those chunky bits of strawberries added in at the end - I can see why the recipe does this for appearance and flavor, but since the berries are full of water, they end up as little icy chunks that were a little distracting in texture to me. While dense, cream-laden ice creams will always have a home in our freezer, this was definitely a nice change from the norm with its uniqueness and you can bet we were sad when we went to grab the bowl out from the freezer again only to find we left not barely a serving in the bottom. We did try to split what was there, but I think Jeff stole more than his fair share... hmph!