summer sweet berries
Summer is Sweet. In the dessert world, which is where I tend to hang out, there are many choices when making a summer dessert for family, friends of coworkers. Grocery stores and Farmers Markets are overflowing with beautiful, fresh, sweet berries. The sweetest varieties available this summer season are cherries, black raspberries, red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Mangos are also decadent this time of summer.
Fresh berries with whipped cream is a simple dessert and great for a backyard picnic. A wonderful berry cobbler is great to bring to a potluck . Berries serbved with a chocolate fudge sauce and a silky caramel sauce is a great dessert for friends. A fresh fruit tart is always a big hit at parties. My favorite thing to make this summer with all the wonderful berries is Sorbet.
Sorbet is the French word for sherbet, referring to a churn-frozen dessert of fruit puree or juice, sugar, and water. It is a refreshing low-fat dessert or a palette cleanser in between courses. Sorbets can be made with fresh or frozen berries. You only need four or five ingredients an ice cream machine and summer bliss is at your tongue. Sorbet can be stored in the freezer for up to three weeks, it is a great dessert to make ahead.
Sorbet is not the only frozen desset you can make with summer berries. Ice cream, gelato, and granita are all perfect for the summer berry.
Granita is made with fruit juice and sugar syrup and flavorings. Granita has less sugar than a sorbet. This produces a mixture that will freeze harder than sorbet. You do not need a ice cream machine to make granita. The granita mixtures is frozen in a shallow steel container, then scraped with a fork or spoon to form ice crystals. Watermelon makes a wonderful granita.
Ice cream and Gelato are custards that are churned in an ice cream machine. Both ice cream and gelato require eggs, milk, cream, sugar and flavorings. Gelato recipes usually include more egg yolks, more milk and less cream. Gelato is more dense than ice cream and has a richer flavor than ice cream.
Summer is the perfect time to go to your Farmers Market or grocery store , buy some fresh berries and try a recipe for sorbet, gelato, ice cream or grantia. I am churning a vibrant mango sorbet now and am going to enjoy a frozen bite of my sweet summer.
Strawberry SorbetMakes 8 servingsGranulated sugar 1/2 cupPectin 1 tspSugar syrup 1 cupStrawberries, pureed 2 cupsSteps:1. Mix the sugar and pectin together, add the sugar syrup and bring to a boil. remove from the heat and cool completely.2. Add the pureed berries and lemon juice; strain. Adjust the flavor with additional sugar or lemon juice to your taste.3. Pour mixture into container of an ice cream or sorbet machine and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Cindy Schwanke is the full time culinary instructor at College of the Canyons. She has helped grow the culinary program into a well respected, competitive culinary establishment. She has done various cooking workshops, community service projects and fundraisers to promote the college and the culinary program.
Cindy’s first love is pastry. She has worked in bake shops for over 20 years. She started in retail bakeries, then moved on to working in hotel, restaurant and catering kitchens.
Cindy has worked at Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, Smash box Studios, Spago restaurant and retail outlets. Cindy has her degree in Culinary Food Management. Her specialty is pastry and has won numerous medals in pastry competitions.
Cindy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and travels around the state promoting the pastry arts. “Everyone asks me why I became a pastry chef. I think it is because my fondest memories are when I was a little girl, my great grandfather and great grandmother would chop huge sugar blocks into small cubes for their daily coffee. This ritual would take place every Sunday morning at the breakfast table. This memory inspired me to work with sugar”.
Contact Information for Cindy:
Culinary Arts Instructor
College of the Canyons