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Passion Fruit Sorbet

Passion fruits, which grow in the subtropics, have a unique, very sweet, floral flavor and aroma. They are at their peak in spring. You can substitute 1/2 cup puree of any fruit that is in season. Strawberries make a nice garnish, especially tiny fraises des bois, also in season in the spring.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs. water
  • 9 ripe passion fruits
  • 1/2 pint ripe strawberries

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and all of the water. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cut each passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp into a sieve placed over a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, push the pulp through the sieve, pressing firmly against the seeds to release as much juice as possible. Set the juice aside. Add the seeds to the sugar syrup, stirring to extract additional flavor from them. Then pour the syrup through the sieve into another bowl. Discard the seeds and let the syrup cool. Stir the passion fruit puree into the syrup. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 hours.

Transfer the passion fruit base to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions until slightly firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.

To serve, spoon into chilled individual glasses or bowls and sprinkle the strawberries over the top.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Vegetarian for All Seasons, by Pamela Sheldon Johns (Time-Life Books, 1998).