Champagne Strawberry Sorbet

In a few days it will be Summer. Time to think of refreshing desserts.
There are some delicious strawberries to be consumed and an almost finished bottle of champagne in the fridge.
Is it worth resisting the temptation and not drink the champagne?
Or can it be associated with the strawberries?

The dilemma is quickly solved: it will be a strawberry sorbet with champagne. The bubbles left should give the sorbet an extra kick.

You won’t be able to take this sorbet to Ascot or Henley in a hamper but you should enjoy it at home.

500g fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
100ml pink champagne, very cool
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sugar sirup made with 125g sugar and 100ml water
A few fresh mint leaves, rinsed, to decorate.

1. Reserve a few strawberries to decorate.

2. Whiz the remaining strawberries in a food blender and mix with the cooled sirup, the lemon juice and the champagne.

3. Place in the sorbet maker for the time indicated by the manufacturer.

Serve immediately in pretty cocktail glasses and enjoy!

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Marmelade de citron or Lemon marmalade

I love lemons and all citrus fruit and to continue on the lemon theme started in February with the lemon celebrations, I’m making lemon marmalade, using a slight variation on my mother-in-law classic orange marmalade.
The sharpness of the lemons complements perfectly the first expresso of the day and wakes up the taste buds.
Sicilian lemons are abundant and because they have not been injected with disphenyl and other nasties, you can use their unwaxed skin for other preparations as well.

This marmalade is made over 2 days and is well worth spending the time as the flavour of the lemons comes through beautifully.

You need 4 lemons, jam sugar and water and sterilised jam jars.
Day 1:
Rinse the lemons and peel them with a very sharp paring knife. Cut the peel (Or zest) in very fine, thin strips. Reserve the peel.
Peel the white pith and discard as it would give a bitter taste to the marmalade. Slice the lemons and remove the pips. ( These would be worth keeping if you were making another fruit jam at the same time as it would provide you with extra pectin).
Place the lemon slices and peel in a large salad bowl, preferably made of glass, and cover with water. Put in a cool place. After a few hours, the water will have been almost entirely absorbed by the fruit and may need to be topped up.

Day 2:
Measure the quantity of mixture in a measuring jug and weigh the corresponding amount of jam ( or preserving) sugar. For example, for 2 pints of mixture, use 2 lbs of sugar.
Place the mixture in a jam cooking pot and heat slowly up. After 15 minutes, add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon.
Bring to a fast boil for 7 minutes ( or the time indicated on the jam sugar packet).
When the marmalade is set, pour into the jars and place the lid on tightly immediately. Turn the jars upside down for a few minutes and turn again the right way up. Leave to cool and label.
Keep in a cool, dark place.

Enjoy at breakfast over toasts or in croissants or at tea time, spread on a sponge cake.

You can reserve some of the lemon zests before bottling because they will be perfectly candied and can be used when making muffins or sponge cakes. They can be added to fruit salads or lemon sorbets.

Tip:
On day 1 decide whether you want a very thick marmalade or a more jelly- like one. The quantity of fruit will determine the consistency of the marmalade. In both cases, it is important to respect the proportion of fruit mixture to sugar.

Bon Appétit!