Wimbledon may be past us but if you are a fan of strawberries, a great way to keep some of their summer flavour in your kitchen is to churn it. Ice cream or as we have done here, sorbet. Yes you could make some jam but here is an altogether cooler way to use up a glut of this summer fruit.
We came up with this fancy schmancy looking, but actually easy to put together dessert. I would call it a high Summer afternoon tea recipe. Strawberry sorbet, fashioned into a patisserie-style dessert.
We shaped the sorbet using a moulding ring, placing some slices of fresh strawberry around the edge, to contrast with the softly melting sorbet inside. Topped with crunchy meringue and served with a chocolate balsamic syrup, the complementing flavours and textures make for a refreshing summer dessert. You will have extra syrup which would make for a good dressing for fruit salads and goat cheese.
Feel free to play around with the recipe – use a shop bought meringue if you don’t want to bother with meringue making.
For the sorbet
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
500g (1 pound) strawberries
Juice of half a lemon
For the chocolate balsamic sytup
80ml (2.8 fl oz) balsamic vinegar
75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
70ml (2.5 fl oz) water
Pinch of salt
60g (2.1 oz) cocoa powder
80g (2.8oz) dark chocolate chips
For the meringue*
60ml (2.1 oz) caster sugar
45ml (1/5 cup) water
50g (1.8 oz) egg whites
For the sorbet heat the water and sugar in a pan till the sugar is melted. Add the lemon juice.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Process them in a food processor to a smooth puree.
Add the sugar syrup and pulse in the processor to combine fully.
Transfer the sorbet mixture into an ice cream maker and churn till frozen then store in the freezer.
Alternatively, place the mixture into a plastic container, cover and place in the freezer, whisking it vigorously every 30 minutes until frozen solid.
For the syrup heat the balsamic vinegar over a low to medium heat until it has reduced in volume and is syrupy. Pour into a bowl to cool.
In a clean pan, heat the sugar, salt and water in a saucepan, stirring until you have a syrup.
Whisk in the cocoa powder and once the syrup is smooth again, add the chocolate chips and stir till melted.
Pour in the balsamic a bit at a time, adding up to the full amount according to your taste.
Store in a sterilised container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
For the meringue, heat the water and sugar together in a pan to 129°C (264 °F) to give the right consistency of a thick syrup.
Beat the egg whites in a food mixer to soft peak stage, then slowly pour in the syrup, continuing to beat the egg whites until the whole mix is back to room temperature and the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Heat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
Place the meringue mixture in a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle.
Pipe some meringue mixture at the 4 edges of a greaseproof paper and place the paper onto a baking tray, using the meringue mixture to stick the paper to the tray.
Pipe the meringue onto the sheet by pressing the bag to release a little mixture to make a base then releasing the pressure on the bag, lift it up to create small meringue peaks.
Bake for 10 minutes to brown the meringues then reduce the temperature to 75°C (65°C Fan, 170°F) and leave the meringues in the oven for a further 30 to 40 minutes to harden.
Put 6 moulding rings onto a greaseproof lined baking tray.
Slice 6 strawberries thinly and place them overlapping around the inside of a moulding ring.
Use a dessert spoon and pallete knife to scoop sorbet into the moulding ring and spread it and flatten the top.
Place the moulded sorbets into the freezer to set for around 20 minutes.
Drizzle the syrup onto your serving plates.
Use a palette knife to lift the sorbet off the greaseproof and onto the plate.
Top with meringue and serve.
And if you want more frozen treats, try these –
Sour Cherry and Chocolate Chip ice cream with candied almonds and meringue (yes we do like meringue)
and from some of our food blogging friends –
Lemongrass and coconut ice cream from Kavey
and vegan cinnamon ice cream with maple roasted radishes from Kate