A Sorbet has to be among one of the easiest frozen desserts to make. This Strawberry Black Pepper Orange Sorbet certainly is. What is easier than a little prep work and blending the ingredients together? The temperatures in my part of the world are becoming unbearable. It’s just February and it feels like mid-summer!
A Strawberry Black Pepper Orange Sorbet is perfect right now. It’s bright and colourful, light and takes very little time in the kitchen. The strawberry season is almost on the way out. The last lot I bought were a bit tangier than I liked so making a Sorbet was the answer to using them up.
A Sorbet is really a fancy fruit ice to my mind. We were never allowed to go anywhere near one, in my childhood. Fruit ices were never made at home and always sold by vendors at their carts. They were considered unhygienic and the tropical summer was time for all sorts of illnesses. I remember looking at them with much longing but never had the courage to ask for one. Not that I would have got one if I had asked.
The name Sorbet comes from the Arab word “Sharbath” (also the Hindi word and Sarbath in Malayalam) for fruit juice. It is known as I read somewhere that the Chinese were the first to make a version of Sorbet. Apparently it became Sorbet in French from the Italian Sorbetto. The Italians learned it from the Arabs. They got it from the Persia who got it from China. I don’t know if all of it is true, but I definitely believe the Arab Sharbath became today’s Sorbet.
To get back to my Strawberry Black Pepper Orange Sorbet, I had at some point seen recipes combining strawberries with black pepper. I thought I’d try something similar but with a twist. My Sorbet has some fresh orange juice and zest. The result is a slightly sweet and tangy Sorbet with a mild peppery after taste.
Strawberry Black Pepper Orange Sorbet Recipe
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
2 cups hulled and chopped strawberries
1/4 cup fresh unsweetened orange juice (1 orange approx.)
Zest of 1 orange
Put the water and sugar in a pan. Bring the mixture to boil while stirring till the sugar dissolves completely. Turn down the heat. Crush the peppercorns slightly (not in a peppermill) and drop into the simmering solution. Let it simmer for about half a minute. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit for about half an hour for the the flavour to steep. Then strain out the crushed peppercorns.
Blend the chopped strawberries, the orange juice, zest and strained sugar syrup together till smooth. Pour into a freezer container and freeze till set. Take it out of the freezer every hour or so and stir or blend to break up the ice crystals. Repeat 3 or 4 times until it’s smooth and set enough to scoop easily. Serve.
This recipe serves four.
Please note this post has been recently updated with some text and photographs.