Several of you have written lately to ask about ice cream makers.

The one I use, abuse and wholeheartedly recommend is the Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker. I leave its freezer bowl in the freezer, so when I’m ready to make ice cream, I can just slip the bowl onto the base, insert the mixing paddle, pop the lid on, and flip the switch.

It’s dangerously simple. I made more ice cream last summer than Baskin-Robbins. And, yes, I’ve already made a batch in 2012. Even before the first official day of spring.

I don’t know whether that’s a record or an illness.

Anyway, our grocery was loaded with piles of ripe red strawberries, so I made a really simple Strawberry Sorbet – just chopped and puréed strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and a tablespoon of kirsch I had leftover from making a Black Forrest Cake last September. (Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, which helps keep the sorbet nice and soft. So, if you don’t have kirsch, use vodka, Grand Marnier or any other liqueur.)

You know how strawberry ice cream gives you a really mellow strawberry flavor? Well, take away all of the dairy fat, and you get a strawberry sorbet that’s gloriously, uncompromisingly ruby red and exploding with the bright, sweet flavor that could only come from mainlining dozens of strawberries at the same time.

It’s intense.

And, if you’ve never made a sorbet fizz, this is your year. Add a few scoops of sorbet to a tall glass, and fill the glass with something like Sprite or 7-Up. Crazy-refreshing.

I fought buying an ice cream maker for YEARS, so if the idea makes you nervous or feels like an unnecessary expense, I know where you’re coming from. However, making ice cream and sorbet isn’t just fun, it’s addictive. (See also: Peachgasm, Big Berry Sex Bob-omb Cheesecake and Vietnamese Coffee.) And anything you make will be better than what you’d have bought at a grocery.

Or Coldstone.

Or Maggie Moo’s.

It’s an addiction. But when an addiction comes with hot fudge or salted bourbon caramel sauce, there’s no hurry to break it. You just add whipped cream and a cherry, and take it one lick at a time.

Strawberry Sorbet

Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes about 5 servings (1/2 cup each)

  • 1 pound ripe strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch, vodka or Grand Marnier (for softer freezing)
  1. Purée your strawberries in a blender or food processor.
  2. Strain the purée through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds (if you want).
  3. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and vodka. Taste and add more sugar, if necessary.
  4. When the sugar has dissolved, chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.
  5. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  6.  Transfer the sorbet to a container, seal it, and freeze it for a few hours, until the sorbet firms up.
  7. Before serving, set the sorbet on the counter at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften. It’s best eaten the same day you make it, so dig in.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) – calories: 110.5, fat: 0.4g, carbs: 26.6g, fiber: 2g, protein: 0.5g, PP+ = 3