Un Dolce Finale

sorbettolede

To complete a rather heavy (yet balanced!) Italian feast, inspired by the glorious meal shown in the classic film, Big Night, I wanted to incorporate a light and fruit-forward dessert. When planning the final course for this special meal, I consulted with my good friend, Brett, who is the pastry chef assistant at a superb Italian restaurant in Oakland that I used to work with him at. He immediately suggested a strawberry sorbet topped with some Cava or Prosecco. It was pure genius. This recipe of my Strawberry Sorbet from a few years’ back is my go-to. Just make the sorbet a day-ahead and pour a bit of Prosecco tableside and just see how delighted your guests will be!

Sorbetto alla Fragola con Prosecco (Strawberry Sorbet with Prosecco)
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
1 quart strawberry sorbet (recipe HERE)
1 bottle Italian Prosecco

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METHOD
Make the sorbet at least 1 day before serving.

When ready to serve, leave the sorbet out in room temperature for about 20 minutes to soften a bit. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop 2-3 scoops of sorbet into each bowl. Pour enough Prosecco over sorbet to just cover. Repeat for all bowls. Serve!

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(Editor’s Note: All movie screenshots are property of Rysher Entertainment and Timpano Productions.)

Flavor of the Week

Now in season: strawberries!

Now in season: strawberries!

When I worked as a Pastry Chef Assistant, I had the pleasure of making ice cream and sorbet bases daily. And when I say pleasure, I mean it. Ice cream and sorbets are a fairly easy sweet treat to make at home. And quite honestly, with all the ingredients listed on many store-bought ice creams–preservatives, additives, and chemicals one can’t even pronounce–it’s actually healthier (and perhaps safer) to consume those of the homemade variety. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now in season, strawberries are ideal for this warm weather, so sorbet is in order!

Ooh, and for a cool (alcoholic) refresher, you can add a scoop of the sorbet to a flute of sparkling wine (Prosecco works well) for a Bellini-style cocktail.

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Warning: Consumption of strawberries before making sorbet is often unavoidable!

Strawberry Sorbet
Yields about 1 quart

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces or 1 pound) strawberries, stems removed and quartered
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice (I used grapefruit juice and it tasted great!)

METHOD
Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan stirring to just combine. Heat over medium-high and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. You’re basically making a simple syrup, so heat the sugar water till it’s a slightly syrupy consistency. Turn off the heat and transfer the simple syrup into a small bowl and into the refrigerator to cool.

While the simple syrup cools down, wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Cut the strawberries into quarters. Place strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend till the fruit is completely broken down, adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.

Seriously so good

Seriously so good

Transfer the strawberry gazpacho to your ice cream maker, adding in the simple syrup. Churn the strawberry soup according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions. (My Hello Kitty Ice Cream Maker processes the mixture for 40 minutes.)

Sorbet before

Sorbet before

Sorbet after

Sorbet after

Once the mixture has been churned completely, place a sheet of plastic wrap just pressing the top of the sorbet to avoid getting ice crystals while freezing. Place into your freezer for at least 4 hours or until firm.

If I could escape...

If I could escape…