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Feasting on Art Recipe Contest: Strawberry and Balsamic Sorbet in Lemon Shells

by on March 26, 2010

Hi everyone. A photo and recipes to follow but first……

IMG_6958…. I’m back. I missed you and KB but it was fantastic to enjoy sun, sand and the sea in Barbados without worrying about ‘late posts’ and comments….or lack off! And yes that’s me….on a surf board, riding on waves of azure waters!

IMG_1132While I’m eager to tell you all, I think I should be sensible and wait so I can give you the real deal in digestible bites. Suffice it to say it was everything and more than I dreamt about – Turquoise beaches, gorgeous sunshine and friendly people!


But because everything has its time and place, I’ll share with you something I made for Megan at Feasting on Art. She’s having a birthday bash on April the 3rd when her fantastic blog turns one! Megan lets art inspire her recipes and we recently collaborated: cooking two dishes inspired by one painting. That was a fantastic adventure.

To celebrate  her birthday,  Megan organised a contest, inspired by a Renoir painting featuring strawberries and lemons.

renoir_strawberries-300x177The mission: Create an original recipe with the ingredients depicted in the still life painting Strawberries. Post the recipe on your website including the painting above and a link back to this blog post about the contest.

The entries will be made into a photo gallery and the picture  you submit will link back to your entry post. The image order will be determined by entry date so email your recipes ASAP to be at the top of the list!

Contest Deadline: Saturday 27th March, 2010. The winner and entry gallery will be posted on the one year anniversary of the blog, Saturday 3rd April, 2010.

So, if you haven’t met Megan yet, then let this take you on a voyage of discovery.


Unadventurous me….I know, but I decided to expand my horizons by making a sorbet. I went for a classic pairing of strawberries with balsamic vinegar, using my little vial of 9-year old balsamic, from Eten & Drinken 2010!

Balsamic vinegars are like wine….they get better with age. In their case however, unlike majority of wines, they become less acidic and thicken to a syruppy consistency, perfect for combining with fruit.

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At the Eten & Drinken fair, I tried a 15 year old Balsamic vinegar. It was a thickened dark syrup, sweet and slightly acidic with the familiar balsamic taste. In the centre of a raspberry, it was amazingly delicious! As a gift, I received a small bottle of 9 year old wood-aged vinegar.

I loved the idea of freezing the sorbets in lemon shells, both for presentation and because they act as mini coolers, keeping their contents frozen for just a little bit longer!!!!!!



You can halve the mixture if you like.

Wash strawberries before hulling so they don’t absorb too much water.

Use fresh egg whites not frozen as they’ll be refrozen once in the mixture!

You can make a variety of things with the strawberry sauce. I saved some for my chocolate gnocchi; I mixed some with yoghurt and made lollipops for the kids. And when the sorbet was ready, I froze some in shells and left some in a bowl, which I froze and then made granitas out of.

Store the sorbet for up to one month in the deep freezer.

Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Sorbet in Lemon Cups

IMG_7010#1  Lemon cups, from Chef de Cuisine

Cut off the top 1/3 of the lemon (not the stem end) and reserve for the “cap.”

Hollow out each lemon by using a grapefruit knife {or a small sharp knife} just inside the rind and circling the flesh (being careful not to puncture the lemon). Remove juice and flesh and juice it for the sorbet put it in your juicer.

Make a slight shallow cut Slice the bottom on the bottom of each lemon shells (being careful not to cut through to the inside of the lemon). This will make them sit straight and not fall over when placed on a plate. Freeze the shells at least one hour or overnight.

Then fill with sorbet and freeze again. The frozen shell will prevent the sorbet from melting too quickly when you serve it.

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#2 Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Sorbet, adapted from Ice Cream by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson


500g strawberries (hulled)
Juice of 1 lemon
150g caster sugar
300ml water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 egg whites, lightly beaten with a fork
4 Lemon cups

How to

Put the strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, water and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.

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Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor and blend till smooth.

Cover and allow to cool completely.

{At this stage, I made some strawberry icelollies by mixing some strawberry puree with yoghurt, and topping that with strawberry sauce for sweet centres.  My kids loved them}

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Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, for 10 minutes before adding the egg whites.

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Continue to churn until slushy (and frozen).  You can serve immediately or freeze till hard, ensuring the tops are directly covered with greaseproof paper or foil. {I froze some in shells and the remaining mixture went in a bowl to be frozen for granitas!}

IMG_5496Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to allow it soften slightly.

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Serve with extra drops of balsamic on top and some lemon zest.

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If the idea of a sorbet bores you to bits…..then once frozen, use a fork to pull/shave bits off to make granitas.

I served mine in small tumblers, topped with chopped fresh strawberries and garnish with a mint leaf and lemon zest!


Don’t forget the drops of balsamic and some lemon zest.

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I would have loved to use some candied peel but it was all gone….

IMG_6978The sorbet/granita was delicious and good-looking to say the least. It was a ‘warm’ pinky-red with even hues. And the taste – fruity and smooth with a twist of citrus flavour and balsamic. The one thing I kicked myself for not trying was grating some freshly ground black pepper over the top. Next time! Thanks Megan for the inspiration and hope this one year blogging has been great!

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My cookbook giveaway continues till Sunday, March 28th, 2010. Head on over to the post and leave a comment to win!

I’m also sending this on to Weekend Herb Blogging #226, started by Kalyn , and now run by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, and hosted this week by Erbe of Erbe in Cucina.

Have a great weekend.

IMG_6957 IMG_6961 IMG_6959 IMG_6955 IMG_6954 So there it is, all done. The sorbe

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Feasting on Art Recipe Contest: Strawberry and Balsamic Sorbet in Lemon Shells – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]