I feel like sherbet is a made up word, like muppet. (Sherbet would actually make a great name for a muppet...)
Maybe it's appropriate that both muppets and sherbet made up a good part of my childhood.
I was a big fan of Sesame Street (Big Bird and Ernie were my favorite) and a big fan of rainbow sherbet. My parents were big supporters of my imagination, letting me believe that muppets were real creatures and my friends from New York City. (I was the only kid for a little bit, so bear with me.) I used to parade around the house in my underwear holding my Big Bird plush toy and pretend to be on the show. They even took me to "Sesame Street On Ice". An ice skating show spectacular that featured all of my fuzzy friends. They never let the magic die.
I think the only thing that was almost as magical as muppets as a child was rainbows, namely rainbow sherbet. Sunday afternoon ice cream trips to Thrifty Ice Cream was one of my favorite traditions and I was loyal to this one flavor. Then, I only knew sherbet to mean ice cream, rainbow and delicious.
I wasn't too far off.
While this sherbet isn't rainbow, it is a type of ice cream. It's not the full fledged cream and milk that make up a normal ice cream base, it's lighter and less fuss.
Less fuss, because you don't have to stand over a stove and cook up a custard (yay). Lighter because we're not using cream, we're using buttermilk and greek yogurt. It's as simple as hitting "blend" on your blender, and then dumping it into an ice cream maker. Double yay.
This sherbet is a bit on the tart side, which I love, but it's not too tart to turn people away either.
John and I differ on our tart preferences. He makes great faces whenever sampling the "original tart" flavor at our favorite frozen yogurt shop, where as that's what flavor I usually fill up my bowl with first.
My non-tart-yogurt loving husband does however, love this sherbet. So, take that for what you will.
I think eating this with loved ones is great way to open up a discussion about your childhood favorites. Favorites that hopefully include some mention of muppets or rainbow sherbet.
Seasonal note: This is a beautiful way to use up some strawberries. If you're local, you know that Southern California's strawberry season is now. It's short lived and I dare say we get to enjoy the little red gems a little sooner than our east coast friends (sorry). This is one way I hope you enjoy them before it's too late. The marriage between the strawberries, vanilla bean and buttermilk is insanely good.
roasted strawberry sherbet with vanilla bean and buttermilk
adapted from bon appetite. serves 6 barely or 4 generously
You could seriously just stop after you roast the strawberries and serve it as a warm topping with a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream. It would bring a whole new meaning to berries and cream that people would die over. (I would die). OR you can complete the recipe and make this sherbet, either way, you win. The original recipe calls for sour cream, but I just swapped it out for some thick greek yogurt. (Try the brand Fage). Not only is it a bit better for you, but it brings a zing to this sherbet that is perfect. I think you'll agree.
special equipment: a blender or food processor and an ice cream maker
4 cups / 454g strawberries (hulled and halved)
1 cup / 226g granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
1 ½ cups / 355ml buttermilk
⅓ cup / 74g greek yogurt, 2%
1 pinch kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425° F / 218° C.
Combine strawberries and sugar in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch / 33 x 23 x 5cm baking pan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod; toss to combine. Roast berries, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Some of the sugar will burn a little, don't panic. Let it cool. (Unless you're going to stop here and serve it with some vanilla ice cream, in that case, scoop and serve.)
Discard pod. Purée berries, buttermilk, yogurt and pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sherbet to airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
Do ahead: Sherbet can be made 1 week ahead. Keep frozen. Let soften at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Baker's note: Sherbet is not the same thing as Sorbet. They're definitely cousins, but sherbet has dairy and a true sorbets is supposed to be dairy free.