image courtesy of Nicholas Calcott
What a treat to arrive back in Paris and have the markets be full of lush, juicy strawberries. Seeing the berries always inspires me to make some extravagant strawberry dessert. But, applying heat seems to pollute the flavor and render them mushy and stingy. A good strawberry is best enjoyed with the simplest of preparations. Sorbet seemed like a natural thing to do, served with puff pastry, pastry cream and some fresh unadulterated Gariguettes. With a little Japanese inspiration, I added some shiso. The powerfully herbal and vegetal quality of shiso complements the berries beautifully.
1 kilo strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
pinch sea salt
1/8 cup glucose (or mild honey, corn syrup or agave syrup)
4 green shiso leaves
Remove the stems of the berries and slice each in half. Place in a large bowl and toss with sugar and salt. Let macerate for an hour. Drain the liquid the berries produce into a small sauce pan reserving the fruit in the bowl. Add the glucose and a 1/2 cup water to the sauce pan with the berry juice. Bring to a boil and add the shiso. Boil for one minute and then take off heat. Let the shiso infuse for 5-10 minutes. Pour the liquid, with the shiso, over the berries. Transfer to a blender and puree the berries with the shiso liquid. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a day. Process in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturers’ instructions.