When I think of British summertime strawberries are the first thing that pop into my head; I just love them. Growing up, our next door neighbour grew his own strawberries every year and always brought big bowls of them in for me; ' the strawberry queen ' as he called me. I always try to buy food in season, which means I try to avoid imported strawberries and gorge on British strawberries throughout summer. Another fruity favourite of mine is rhubarb, again this was grown in both our garden and our next door neighbours garden so crumble was often on the menu growing up. During a recent drive, I stopped off at the lovely Church view farm and picked up a gorgeous bunch of rhubarb and a big punnet of strawberries, my summer heaven despite the rain. When I got home, rather than making an obligatory crumble I decided that a sorbet was in order, as the ice cream maker has not been out of the cupboard for a few weeks an there was a little ( short-lived) hint of sunshine on the way.
I love how easy it is to make great ice-cream and it is a great way of using up fruit. I bought an ice-cream maker as a present for Mr Giannasi and it is honestly one of the most used presents I have ever bought, not one of those gadgets that get used once then collect inches of dust in the back of the cupboard. We take turns in making ice-cream and sorbets, each time trying to out do each other and declare that we have made the best yet. Well , with this recipe, we have both agreed that my rhubarb, strawberry and anise is the best so far, it really does taste so good and I haven't been able to resist dipping my spoon in over the last couple of days. I decided to add the anise in for an extra flavour that is light and fragrant without being too over powering and I am really happy with the results. As this recipe is a very fruity affair , I am entering this in to the Kavey Eats June bloggers scream for ice cream challenge
Ingredients ( makes 1 litre tub)
2 large stalks of rhubarb, roughly chopped
1/2 punnet of strawberries
Juice from 1/2 lemon
150 ml water
4 star anise
100g golden caster sugar
1. Simply add all of the ingredients to a pan, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
2. Drain the the mixture, keeping the juice in a separate pan. Remove the anise from the fruit mixture and and blend the fruit into a fine pulp.
3. Add the blended fruit into the drained juice and stir. I gave the mixture an extra sieve once I had mixed with the juice, to get a smoother finish but you could leave the sieving out if you don't mind a sorbet with some ' bits' .
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours but I always leave overnight to ensure a smoother ice cream/sorbet, as the cooler the mixture the quicker it comes together in the ice cream maker; meaning less ice crystals forming.
5. Follow instructions for your ice cream maker and there you have a lovely juicy sorbet. If you don't have an ice cream maker simply freeze in a pot and take out to stir every few hours to avoid large ice crystals.