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Strawberry Tarragon Sorbet

I dipped a spoon into the churning ice cream maker and gave it to my brother to taste.

“This is actually very good,” he said. “What else are you going to put in it?”

“Nothing,” I assured him.


This took place last Sunday, when we all gathered at my parents’ house to pick sour cherries off their tree. I made the base for this Strawberry Tarragon Sorbet at home, and brought it over to finish up using their ice cream machine. A sour cherry sorbet would have been more appropriate, but the greenmarket strawberries have been so lusciously inviting lately that I could not turn them down.

My brothers refused to let me take the remainder of the sorbet home with me when I left that evening.

I’m in Portland, Oregon now, and will be somewhere in the area for the next week, visiting Dave’s aunts. I’m told there will be a trip to a beach house and a mountain cabin, and of course time with a few friends and a visit to Powell’s before the end. Is there anything else I should see or do while I’m here? I won’t have much free time, but I can try, and I can make a list for next time of need be.

Strawberry Tarragon Sorbet
(from The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle by Kate Zuckerman)
3 pints strawberries
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 oz fresh tarragon

Wash and dry the strawberries. Remove the stems and leaves, and cut each strawberry in half. Toss them together with the sugar.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the strawberries and sugar with the corn syrup and 1/2 C water. Bring to a boil, then add the tarragon and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tarragon with a fork. Whisk in the corn syrup.

Blend until smooth, then strain. Chill, then follow your ice cream machine’s instructions to finish it off.

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18 Responses to “Strawberry Tarragon Sorbet”

  1. Ana says:

    with your penchant for sweets, a trip to Pix is in order.

  2. Yvo says:

    Wow, that looks luscious, that is exactly the word I’d describe it. I can almost feel it coating my tongue with that slight tang strawberries have… yum!! I’m not sure I know what tarragon tastes like offhand, but who cares, I still want to lick my screen =)

  3. I totally agree with Yvo – it look luscious. I am going to get strawberries tomorrow.

    I have a bunch of frozen honeydew (it was ripe and I had to leave on vacation) – do you think that would make a great sorbet too?

  4. Kelli says:

    Aw, man. I was very excited to tell you you could go to the Utilikilt store, but then I remember that alas, that’s Seattle. Meh.

  5. Lydia says:

    The tarragon in my garden is going bananas, so I’m excited to find another great recipe that uses fresh tarragon.

  6. lisa says:

    That is a gorgeous sorbet. I’ve got fresh tarragon in my herb garden this year and hopefully I’ll be hitting the market this weekend for strawberries! Can’t wait!

    Ohhh I tried the Rum Drenched Coco-Nana bread the other night.. FABULOUS! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe =)


  7. Traca says:

    If you can get out of Powells without a hand-truck…I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Their book collection is stunning. A mix of old and new and isles and isles of cookbooks. Go early in your trip…you may want to go back twice!

    I’m up in Seattle and for me, no trip to Portland is complete without a trip to Apizza Scholls. Go early or you will wait. Go too late and they’ll close the doors. They close…when they run out of dough. And it’s not uncommon for that to be around 8:00pm.

    Voodoo Doughnuts is legendary although I haven’t been there myself.

    Over by Powells, I had a very nice lunch at a gem of a place called Park Kitchen. Love the space…and the food was very good too.

    I believe Saturday is their farmer’s market and it’s legendary. That’s next on my not-to-miss list.


  8. Dumela says:

    wow, yummy strawberry sorbet, i love the ruby colour… what exactly is terragon??

  9. BC says:

    Pok Pok on SE Division is one of my favorites in Portland – not to be missed.

    I seccond the motion about Apizza Scholls.

    Eat up!

  10. Are you still in Portland? Pearl Bakery is supposed to be fab–I’m still sad I didn’t make it the one time I was there. And I believe it’s right by Powell’s which is a wonderful place to while away a day or so.

  11. Danielle says:

    Ana – We checked out Pix. Pretty good, and I’m sorry I didn’t try their framboise lambic float. Guess I’ll have to make one myself.

    Yvo – The next great technological innovation should be lickable screens!

    SK – Honeydew sorbet sounds fantastic.

    Kelli – I know! I would love to visit it. But alas, I didn’t even pack either of my utilikilts for this trip.

    Lydia – Maybe a banana tarragon recipe is in order?

    lisa – My pleasure! But really, you should go thank Dorie. ^^

    Traca – I hit the main Powells and both Hawthorne Powellses twice each. My bookshelves runneth over. It was wonderful! I even picked up a few new cookbooks.

    Dumela – Tarragon is an herb. I can’t really describe the flavor very well. some people say it tastes like anise, but it generally doesn’t to me, which is good, because I hate anise.

    BC – Ack, I missed both of those places. Luckily, I’ll be back next year!

    Lisa – Next time, definitely.

  12. rob says:

    Danielle, that sorbet looks wonderful. I have to get off my duff and make some strawberry ice cream. That flavour just translates so well to frozen desserts. I love the use of tarragon — such a delicate flavour.

  13. mr.ed says:

    I made this yesterday for a picnic here, using $1/# berries (!) and a little less sugar. Wonderfully tart and intense.
    When I was in college at Michigan State, we had a sour cherry tree in the backyard of a house we rented. On harvest day, we returned home to find birds had stripped the tree bare, and left the pits all over our cars. Unwaxed paint was murder to clean!

  14. Kristen says:

    Your photos of the sorbet are incredible! My mouth is watering for a taste of that.

  15. Danielle says:

    rob – So, does tarragon taste like anise to you? I feel like conducting a very informal survey.

    mr. ed – That’s such a sad story! The deer tend to get my parents’ plums out at the other house, and if we wait too long, the worms get the sour cherries here. But I’m glad you liked the sorbet.

    Kristen – Thank you!

  16. mr.ed says:

    Sadder yet- our next door neighbor was a consistent winner in the MI state fair cherry pie contest, and was counting on our cherries to make some pies. We would have been able to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Pardon the pun. I couldn’t help it.

  17. RiceWenchie says:

    Lucky you, in Portland and all! My favorite places for food are in Portland. NoPo’s Hawiian is one & Salvador Molly’s pirate food in the Hawthorne is another. Acadia is a laidback fine dining restaurant, wonderful food, relaxing atmosphere, elegant menu, impeccable service…It is one of only a few places where I can’t find anything wrong, no matter how hard I look. :o) Rose’s Deli in the Pearl has the nicest waitstaff and good food. And for dessert go to MoonStruck Chocolates, also in the Pearl. There triple chocolate cheesecake is eye-rollingly delicious. You might need a cigarette afterwards! hehe

    Sigh, good times!
    Have fun & enjoy the city!
    From Sunny & HOT California,
    RiceWenchie :o)

  18. larry says:

    I have been searching for a tarragon ice cream recipe without anything else. I love Basil and vowed this year I would make ice cream with it. I found a cinnamon Basil plant this year and just harvested enough the other day for ice cream…wow! It is soooo good, way better than I imagined!! Cinnamom Basil has the same chemical that real cinnamon has and, I think the best garnish would be to place the cinnamon basil flower on top as it has a pungent sweet cinnamon scent.
    I have a batch of Lavender ice cream waiting to go in the maker right now…can’t wait to try it,

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