Strawberry and Elderflower Sorbet

Friday, July 17, 2015

When I come across a new ingredient for the first time, I want to explore all the culinary possibilities.  I am driven, like a mad scientist to derive its property, to break it down, to transform it, and ultimately to learn as much as I can.  Over the past few months, my mind has been consumed by elderflower.  The tsunami of Instagram posts on elderflower since spring piqued my curiosity.  I haven’t felt this way for a long time.  The last time I felt like this was six years ago, sitting in a noodle shop in Vietnam sipping on a glass of passion fruit lemonade wondering what the heck I’ve just inhaled.   After a bit of research, I found that elderflowers grow mainly in Europe and are prolific in the spring.  People pick the aromatic blossoms from elderberry shrubs and transform them into beautiful concoctions.  Unfortunately, they are not readily available in the US so I found the closest thing I could get my hands on--elderflower cordial from St Germain.  When Vu and I took a whip of the cordial, we were blown away by the beautiful fragrant reminiscent of lychee and an indistinguishable floral note.  

So the experiments began!  They went into drinks, cocktails, and desserts!  Yes, many desserts!  We’re sharing one of our favorite concoctions today--strawberry and elderflower sorbet.  The flavor of elderflower is quite delicate and I wanted to preserve it as much as possible.  Sorbet was the best dish for it to shine.  It definitely held its own next to the sweet, exquisite taste of strawberries.  The end result was a refreshing and delicious sorbet!  If you haven’t tried elderflower, this sorbet will win you over.

Strawberry and Elderflower Sorbet
1 pound organic strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 16 oz when pureed)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup elderflower cordial (Saint Germain brand)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat as soon as the sugar has dissolved and set aside to let it cool to room temperature.
2. In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries with lemon juice.
3. Add the cooled syrup to the strawberry puree and blend again for a minute.
4. Stir in the elderflower cordial until thoroughly mixed.
5. Pour the strawberry mixture into an ice cream machine and churn till frozen according to manufacturer's instructions.
6. The sorbet is best served immediately or can be kept in the freezer for up to 5 days.

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