Strawberry & orange sorbet
Simple things are often the best, and never more so than in cooking. Although it’s tempting to gild the lily, sometimes the best thing you can do with beautiful ingredients is keep things as simple as possible – and this light, refreshing sorbet is a case in point. The flavours are true and clear, and it needs nothing more than a few orange segments and strawberry slices to finish it off.
• 250g sweet, ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
• 2–3 navel oranges, segmented
• caster sugar, as needed
• splash of Grand Marnier
Strawberry and orange sorbet:
• 3/4 cup (165 g) caster sugar
• 500 g sweet, ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) strained fresh orange juice
For the sorbet, pour the sugar and 1 cup (250 ml) cold water into a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to the boil. Immediately it boils, remove the pan from the heat. Leave the mixture to cool, then pour it into a container, cover it tightly and pop it in the fridge to chill.
Put the strawberries, orange zest and juice into a blender goblet, and puree them until they’re very smooth. With the blender going, pour the cold sugar syrup through the top and thoroughly mix it in, then pour the resulting mixture into a bowl and chill it. (Depending on the size of your blender you may need to do these steps in two batches.)
When the mixture is cold, churn it in an ice-cream maker (in batches, if necessary) then store it in a tightly sealed container in the freezer overnight.
If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a stainless-steel bowl and pop it in the freezer. Leave it until the mixture is half-frozen – roughly when the edges are completely frozen but the centre is still fairly soft. Remove the bowl from the freezer and whisk the mixture thoroughly with a balloon whisk to break up the ice crystals, then return it to the freezer. Repeat this freezing then whisking once or twice more (twice will give an even finer texture) then transfer the sorbet to a container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze it overnight.
About half an hour before serving the sorbet, put the halved strawberries and orange segments into a bowl. Taste them and add a little sugar if they’re not quite sweet enough, then give them a good splash of Grand Marnier and gently mix them together. Leave them in a cool spot until you’re ready to use them.
To serve the sorbet, scoop it into chilled bowls, then spoon some of the strawberry and orange mixture over the top.