Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When life hands you berries...

I take my lunch to work most days.  It generally consists of some sort of leftovers and fresh fruit on the side.  What sort of fruit is definitely a seasonal thing.  In the fall, it's usually apples.  (I don't like pears, or I'd take those sometimes, too.)  In the winter, it's some sort of orange citrus, usually satsumas or tangelos.  Then as we get into spring, I switch to berries--mostly strawberries, but with some raspberries or blackberries thrown in as well.  Next up will be peaches, then plums/plumcots/pluots.  And then back to apples...  What other sorts of fruit do you like to eat that would be lunchbox friendly?  It occurs to me that my rotation could use a little more variety. =)

For now, though, I'll keep eating the berries.  I've been buying tons because they all look so good right now.  (Plus I discovered that I can buy really good ones in large quantities relatively inexpensively at Costco.)  For lunch I just sprinkle a little sugar on top, but at home I've been trying other things as well.  The shortcakes were a bit hit, and Brianna and Gillian both like berries with vanilla yogurt (especially stirring it to make the yogurt pink).  But sometime we don't eat them quickly enough, and they start to go south.  So what to do with a whole bunch of fruit that's a bit past its prime?  Mash it up and freeze it!  With a few additions that is--you definitely need sugar for a scoopable sorbet.  The process was relatively easy.  I can't really say quick, because I chose to strain the fruit puree to remove the seeds--so I wouldn't have to listen to complaints from B&G, and also because I prefer it that way.  I also made some popsicles in addition to the sorbet.

The verdict?  Very yummy!  I doubt I could exactly duplicate the flavor, since I don't know exactly how much of each berry I had, but I think any combination of berries would be tasty (including adding blueberries; I didn't because I don't like them).  And I just love the purple color contributed by the blackberries, even though it does stain.  (It's a good idea to have kids wear some sort of bib with the popsicles.)  One other thing I'd like to try is lime juice instead of lemon.  I'm sure there will be more sorbet coming out of our kitchen this summer. =)

I pretty much made things up as I went along (and consulted The Perfect Scoop to get an idea of how much sugar to use), but here's more or less what I did.  Enjoy.

Mixed Berry Sorbet
  • 900 grams (about 2 pounds) mixed berries (any combination of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)   (I'm guessing a bit here; once pureed and strained, I ended up with 730 grams)
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar  (can be adjusted to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice   (I think lime would also be good)

Wash and hull the strawberries, then trim any bad spots and cut them into pieces.  Pick through the other berries and discard any that are not good; rinse them with water and drain.  Place the fruit in a deep bowl and puree with an immersion blender.  (Alternatively, puree in a blender, in batches if necessary.)  Strain the puree to remove seeds.  (You don't have to, but I prefer it, especially when using blackberries.)  Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  You can adjust the sugar to taste, but I recommend using at least 150g (3/4 cup); if you use too little, the sorbet will be icy and harder.  Stir in the lemon juice and vodka.  You don't have to add the vodka, but it helps keep the sorbet from freezing too hard.

Place the fruit puree in a container (after adding the sugar I had about 4 cups) and refrigerate until very cold.  Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  The sorbet will still be soft; pack it into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.  

You can also leave out the vodka and pour the fruit puree into popsicle molds, then freeze until firm.  I did both--after adding the sugar, I filled the molds, then I added the vodka and lemon juice to the remaining puree and made the sorbet.


  1. Yum, I love your resourcefulness with this sorbet Di! I'm jealous that your warehouse club has inexpensive berries. The strawberries at mine are cheap but the other berries are still a bit pricey. Hopefully that'll change soon!

    As for your fruit question, I really like mangoes and pineapples. They could both be cut up and transported in a little tupperware container.

  2. Love all fruits, love, love, love them, and this looks so summery and so nicely refreshing, I wish I had gotten to taste it. Very elegant served that way. YUM!

  3. That looks delicious! Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing. It does help.

  4. This looks so cool and refreshing! I may have to try it today! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  5. Oh that looks yummy! I love all the seasonal fruit, too. I'm always sad when the berries go, but then excited for peaches and apples! My husband's personal favorite is grapes- he always wants them for his lunch (though I'd take berries over anything else, let's be honest!)