This recipe was first developed at London’s River Cafe many years ago, I think in the 1990s. Located in Hammersmith, The River Cafe earned a Michelin star in 1997 and has been called home by several celebrity chefs, including Jamie Oliver. It remains one of the best restaurants in the UK.
Since its appearance in The River Cafe Cookbook back in 1996, versions of this recipe have popped up in The New York Times, Food 52, Smitten Kitchen—countless publications, really.
I have modified it to suit my one quart ice cream container.
The secret here is not to be shy of the large quantity of lemon it demands and to use the best, ripest, freshest field grown berries you can find.
- 28 ounces (800g) strawberries
- 1.75 cups sugar
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- 1/2 of a good sized lemon
1. Wash, hull, and slice the berries into a bowl.
2. Chop half of a whole lemon, rind included. Discard seeds.
3. In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine sugar, chopped lemon and most of the lemon juice, holding some back, and pulse until well combined and no chunks of lemon remain. You may need to add a bit more juice to achieve a smooth texture. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Purée the strawberries in the now empty food processor or blender.
5. Add lemon and sugar mixture to the berries and pulse a few times to integrate.
6. Taste. It should have a sweet acidity that lights up your tongue. Add any remaining lemon juice if you think it needs it.
7. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.
8. Serve right away or chill in the freezer.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker pour the sorbet into a bread pan and put it into the freezer, stirring every 30 minutes until frozen and scoopable.