Last weekend marked the official start of strawberry season in Louisiana with the state's seasonal event, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Crafts, rides, and food centered around the official town berry stretched as far as the eye could see. Festival attendees were seen with fresh strawberry drinks in hand, eating strawberry-laden desserts (such as strawberry beignets), and carrying flats of fresh strawberries to their cars.
I was one of the people walking away with a flat of strawberries (about 12 pints). That is a LOT of strawberries. My mind was racing with ideas for strawberry baked goods, savory strawberry dishes, and of course strawberry ice cream! Once we carried the flat to the car, I bit into a berry and was immediately hit with the sweetness and juiciness only a fresh strawberry can have. Perfect!
Since I have yet to make a sherbet for the blog, I decided that now would be the perfect time. Sherbet is a cross between sorbet and ice cream because it has lots of fruit and less milk (although sometimes the words sorbet and sherbet are used interchangeably). I think sherbets are a great use of seasonal fruit because they let the fruit flavor shine but still provide a bit of creaminess. Enjoy this sherbet as you celebrate the strawberry season!
Using buttermilk in this recipe provides a tangy taste that compliments the fruit. I used a mixture of 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cream, but you could substitute 1 cup whole milk if you do not have buttermilk on hand.
1 pound (450 g) strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 Tablespoon brandy
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Prepare strawberries and place in a non-reactive container with sugar and brandy. Let stand for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Pour macerated strawberries into a blender, add lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Add buttermilk and cream and pulse until combined. Pour sherbet base through a fine mesh sieve (to remove most seeds) into medium bowl. Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 2 hours).
Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place plastic or parchment over sherbet (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.