Strawberry Balsamic Sauce or Sorbet

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce or Sorbet

Strawberry, balsamic, black pepper sorbet

I regularly make strawberries with balsamic vinegar to pour over vanilla ice cream. With more people in my life who have dietary restrictions (lactose intolerant, celiac, vegetarian, vegan) and who don’t get to enjoy ice cream with the rest of us, I opted to modify this recipe to turn it into a sorbet. Because that turns the recipe into a two-for-one, I can make just the sauce if I’m lazy and/or want it over ice cream, or I can go make a big bowl of sorbet if I’m a bit more patient (which I sometimes then have with a scoop of vanilla anyway).


Two quarts.
Sixteen 4 ounce servings.
800 calories for the entire batch.
50 calories per 4 ounce serving.


  • 4 cups of strawberries.
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (higher-end stuff is best).
  • ¼ teaspoon of coarse-ground black pepper.

If you’re going to make it into sorbet then you’ll need to make a simple syrup, which consists of:

  • 2 cups of water.
  • ½ cup of sugar.
  • pinch of salt.


Just the Sauce

The following steps will get you the sauce to put over ice cream. After these steps I’ll provide instructions to make it into sorbet.

  1. Halve the strawberries (tossing away the leaves).
  2. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar, pepper, and the tablespoon of sugar. If you want to make sorbet, go directly to the next section.
  3. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
  4. Stir before serving over scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Making Sorbet

If you want to make this into sorbet, stop at step 2 above. You may also want to leave the pepper out until the end. While the strawberries stand, continue with the following steps.

  1. Heat the water, a pinch of salt, and the sugar in a pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the water is clear.
  2. Add the strawberries.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender, in batches if necessary, and puree.
  4. If you excluded the pepper, stir it into the mixture.
  5. Chill for about an hour.
  6. Pour the mixture into a two quart ice cream maker and let it go about 20 minutes (or follow the instructions of the ice cream maker).
  7. Serve immediately, freeze the rest.