Saturday, July 07, 2007

HHDD # 13: Hibiscus & Strawberry Sorbet

In May I made Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup, following a recipe from Chez Pim. I loved the dessert - just like Pim said, the hibiscus syrup gave a certain depth, an extra flavour dimension, to strawberries without interfering with the neat strawberry flavour. I also wondered back then, if I could use the strawberry & hibiscus pairing in other desserts, like ice creams or sorbet, for example. But, alas, as I didn't have an ice cream machine, I didn't do any further experiments with flowers (that's what hibiscus is) and berries.

I still don't have an ice cream machine, but will - if everything goes as planned - have one in a fortnight. Yet when I saw that Laura had chosen sorbet for the 13th round of Hay Hay Donna Day (as in Donna Hay, the Australian Kitchen Goddess who publishes impossibly beautiful food magazines), I wanted to take part. It would be a good opportunity to 'try' my sorbet version, and maybe - hsss! hope dies last - winning the top-notch prize in the form of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz - a book that every foodblogger but me seems to have and enjoy*!!

The hibiscus & strawberry sorbet worked well, and it was definitely worthwhile. While my sorbet isn't as smooth-textured as I would have wanted, it tasted very strawberry-ish, looked much deeper red (and strawberry-ish, again) than it would have looked without the addition of hibiscus flowers. So here I am, pleased to present my hibiscus & strawberry sorbet as my first ever contribution to the Hay Hay Donna Day event! Keep your fingers crossed for me then :)

Hibiscus & Strawberry Sorbet
Based on Donna Hay's basic sorbet recipe and Chez Pim's recipe for Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup

150 grams caster sugar
300 ml water
2 Tbsp of dried hibiscus flowers or 2 hibiscus tea bags
half a vanilla bean, cut open
750 grams fresh strawberries, pureed and strained
mint leaves to garnish

Bring water to the boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, add the tea bags or dried hibiscus flowers and let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, or strain the liquid and discard the soaked hibiscus flowers.
Add sugar to hibiscus infusion, place the saucepan over a low heat and stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil for one minute. Stick the vanilla bean into the syrup and set aside to cool.
While the syrup is cooling, puree and strain the strawberries.
Combine the fruit puree and hibiscus-infused sugar syrup (removing the vanilla bean first), place in an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you don't have an ice-cream maker, place the fruit and syrup mixture in a metal cake tin, cover and freeze for an hour or until just beginning to set at the edge. Mash thoroughly with a large fork, breaking up the forming ice crystals. Return to the freezer. Repeat three times at hourly intervals or until the sorbet is thick and smooth.

* And a book that I so badly need, considering that I'll finally - after lots of trials - will be a proud owner of an ice cream machine in a week or so :)

One year ago I wrote how I was having a pint in a pub in Edinburgh with the then President of Estonia (as you regularly do, eh:) Here's the story and a photo to prove it.


K and S said...

This is really nice for a day like today (really humid). I want an ice cream maker too, hopefully I'll be able to get one before summer is over :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Pelli I would so love to have a bowl of this every afternoon to get me through! I think it looks absolutely smooth enough!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Gorgeous, Pille & K! A new camera, a new ice cream maker, what a new life!! (PS A few years ago, a real foodie friend was coming to visit and bringing Meyer lemons, which I'd never heard of. And she needed an ice cream maker to make sorbet for us. I didn't have an ice cream maker and she said, Just get one, I know you'll use it all the time. She was completely right!! Raspberry this weekend!)

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Absolutely perfect and what a gorgeous flavor combination. I think it'll be 92 tomorrow in NYC, so your timing is superb! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

That looks really good and refreshing, Pille. Perfect for the strawberry season and for summer! The sun's been hiding lately but this sorbet really cheered me up. :)

Anonymous said...

That looks so refreshing!

Ilva said...

so beautiful, that red is gorgeous, and what a great idea to use hibiscus flowers in food, now you have given an impetus to something in my brain, I can feel how it is calculating... Thanks Pille! And good luck, I hope you win!

lobstersquad said...

I´d flagged that strawberry and hibiscus recipe,too! But this is pure genius, and looks so pretty, too!

Anonymous said...

This sounds so good Pille! I've had hibiscus tea but I've never thought of pairing it with starberries...I imagine it tastes wonderful!

I don't have an ice cream maker either! Lucky you to be getting one...enjoy! :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This sorbet looks so refreshing! I've never made anything with hibiscus; I'm very curious about how it tastes! Thanks for introducing me to new flavors.

M. G. Frederic said...

looks so delicious... especially how hot it is over here :) I would definetly love to try this :)

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious, Pille. I had a chance last night to taste astelpaju sorbet. It was a brilliant orange colour & tasted great.

ostwestwind said...

I had to buy an ice-cream maker for this event :-), and what is my apron doing on your great picture?

Great entry!

Barbara said...

Welcome to Hay Hay Its Donna Day. Good luck with winning the book. Your entry looks delicious. Thanks for joining HHDD Pille.

Pille said...

K&S - it took a while to get ours (I'll tell about it soon), but luckily we'll get it in the height of summer. Hope you'll get yours soon, too!

Tanna - now that I looked at it, it does look pretty smooth indeed:)

Alanna - hope so! It's not the cheapest kitchen accessory, so we better put it into good use:)

Figs Olives Wine - that sounds like a perfect weather to enjoy a sorbet indeed!

Mae - the good thing about this is that you can make it in advance on a rainy day and then enjoy it when the sun is shining!

Kristen - it does indeed:)

Ilva - thank you! And I'm very curious to read about your hibiscus invention!

Lobstersquad - a perfect recipe for Spanish strawberries, you know!

Joey - if possible, try both the dessert and the ice-cream version - they're both great! And yes, I should get my Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment this weekend - I cannot wait, as it's been a difficult purchase!

Lydia - you are most welcome :) And do give hibiscus a go!

Lachefderouge - thank you!

Pene - astelpajusorbee alias sea buckthorn sorbet is definitely something to think about. I made three buckthorn cheesecakes last winter, to a great acclaim. Never managed to blog about them though..

ostwestwind - gosh, they are similar:)

Barbara - thank you! And as I've now got the ice cream machine, David's book would be very handy indeed :)