The end of strawberry season was drawing near and I wanted to relish those last moments. So I decided to make a juicy and complex sorbet with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and basil.
As per internet suggestion, I chiffonaded (what is the past tense of that word, anyway??) the basil and added it just before putting the base into the ice cream maker. I have a pet peeve about having to stop eating my ice cream to chew something of a different texture, though (reasons why there will be no nuts in ice cream in this house - ever). So next time I think I will blend the basil into the mixture instead. And there will be a next time - this was delicious!
The next thing I wanted to make with my strawberries was a jam of some sort. I decided to stay with the theme and make a strawberry balsamic jam with black pepper. Since this was such a small batch, I actually cooked it in the microwave. It came out a little loose (I have a hard time making firmer jams for whatever reason), but super tasty.
Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet with Basil
adapted from Worth My Salt
makes 3 cups
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar*
pinch of salt
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
a few basil leaves, cut into thin strips
*How much sugar you use depends on taste and on how sweet your strawberries are on their own; taste to see.
Mix sliced strawberries, sugar, salt, lime juice, and vinegar together in a bowl until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, until sugar is dissolved and strawberries have given up quite a bit of juice. Add in the basil leaves. Puree the mixture in a blender or using a hand blender, and then return to bowl, re-cover and refrigerate until well chilled–at least one hour.
When the mixture is cold, pour it into an ice cream maker, following its instructions. When the mixture is pretty frozen, pack it as tightly as you can into a smaller container, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and then cover. (All of this is to prevent freezer-burn.) For best results, eat within a few days of making.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam with Black Pepper
adapted from Merry Gourmet
makes 3 cups
2 quarts strawberries (approximately 8 cups), washed and hulled
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
4 grinds fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons pectin
In a large glass microwave-safe bowl, mash strawberries using a potato masher or fork to desired consistency. Microwave on high in the microwave, covered, until strawberries are almost boiling, about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together sugar and pectin. Stir sugar and pectin mixture into berries. Add balsamic vinegar and black pepper, stir to combine. Cook on high for 3 more minutes, taking care to cover the bowl well with a paper towel (very important!), until thick and bubbly.
Transfer to a container, let cool, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.