The combination of cold cream and sweet strawberries is the signature flavour of summer, and as I always find sorbet just that little bit too light (I crave the silky fat of dairy coating the tongue) serving it with a little whipped cream seems like the perfect compromise. Often in gelaterie I have been offered panna with my gelato, a happy echo of the clotted cream I used to eat with ice cream back home growing up in the Westcountry. There is something about the double dairy combination which is truly beguiling but a soft dollop of lightly whipped cream also makes a happy accompaniment to a sharp sorbet.
This sorbet is a recipe from my new book, La Vita è Dolce. It is the most brilliant and violent scarlet and tastes exactly how you always wish strawberries would taste; almost candy-like. The lemon acts as an enhancer, bringing out the best in the fruit as it does in everything. It’s an unusual recipe in that the lemon is blitzed up – pith and all – so you get the truest lemon flavour – the pungent, aromatic oils from the skin and the fresh acidity from the juice and flesh. This makes the sorbet enormously refreshing and almost sherbert-like, thanks to the fizz of the citrus. Of course, it still makes a difference to use the very best strawberries you can find.
Makes around 1kg, or 10 scoops
700g best strawberries
Half a large, unwaxed lemon
Tiny pinch of sea salt
Hull the strawberries carefully, and rinse them briefly in cold water.
Cut the lemon in half and remove any pips. Chop it into rough chunks and mix it with the strawberries. Add the pinch of sea salt.
Make a simple sugar syrup by placing the water and sugar in a small pan over a low heat. Swirl gently to dissolve the sugar and allow to simmer for a minute or so, until you have a clear, gel-like syrup. Pour the syrup over the chopped lemons and strawberries and blitz the whole lot in a food processor until you have a puree.
Now sieve the mixture to remove any pieces of pith. Churn in an ice cream maker, or freeze as a granita.