hen you have a glut of fresh fruit, warm summer days and a little initiative, sorbets are the answer. This frozen delight is usually made with fruit and is almost always dairy and fat free; but the strictest defini- tion is simply a syrup of sugar and water that’s churned and frozen — sometimes in an ice cream maker, but you can make it with a good stand mixer or food processor and


time in the freezer. To make a smooth and refreshing sorbet,

you only need a basic template to follow and a little creativity. The golden rule of sorbet? Start with good fruit and don’t goof it up. But, if you do, no worries! Sorbet’s closest cousin is granita, a slushy, fruity confection which stops just short of a snow cone. And who doesn’t love a good snow cone in the summertime? When you feel the need to stick your face in the freezer every hour or so, granita is the way to go. With ice cream, a combination of

fat, protein and sugar all influence texture, but with sorbet, sugar is the star of the show. Sugar doesn’t just sweeten sorbet, it’s also responsible for the sorbet’s structure. When you dissolve sugar in water, you get a syrup with a lower freezing point than water alone, and the sweeter the syrup, the lower the freezing point becomes. As water starts to freeze in a syrup, the unfrozen water becomes, in effect, a more concentrated syrup. This process continues until you have a bunch of small ice crystals in a sea of syrup so concentrated that it’ll never really freeze. You can test the sugar levels in a sorbet


Makes eight servings (one quart)

Ingredients: • 2 pounds fresh fruit (4-5 cups after prepping and slicing); • 1 cup sugar; • 1 cup water; • 1 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice.

Directions: If using an ice cream maker, freeze the machine’s freezer bowl for at least 24 hours before making the sorbet. Wash and dry the fruit. Cut away or remove any rinds, peels, pits, seeds, stems, or other non-edible parts of the fruit. Slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. You should have around five cups of chopped fruit, though a little more or less is fine.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring gently once or twice. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water, about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the fruit and 1/2 cup of the cooled simple syrup in a blender, the bowl of a food processor, or in a mixing bowl with a hand blender. Reserve the

remaining syrup. Blend the fruit and syrup until the fruit is completely liquefied and no more chunks remain.

If your fruit contains small seeds (like strawberries or raspberries), or is very fi-

brous (like mangos or pineapples), strain it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the solids. Gently stir with a spoon as you strain, but don’t force the solids through the strainer. Test the sugar levels with the egg-float test. Stir in one tablespoon of lemon juice.

Taste the sorbet base and add more lemon juice if it tastes too sweet and bland. Cover the sorbet base and refrigerate until very cold, at least one hour or overnight. Pour the chilled base into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn. Con- tinue churning until the sorbet is the consistency of a thick smoothie. Transfer the sorbet to freezable containers and cover. Freeze for at least four hours, until the sorbet has hardened. To serve, let the sorbet soften for a few minutes on the counter, then scoop into serving bowls.

Sorbet Variations

base with an “egg-float” test. Wash and dry a large egg. Gently lower the egg, still in its shell, into the sorbet base. Look for just a small nickel-sized round of shell to show above the liquid. This indicates that you have the perfect balance of juice and sugar. If you see less shell, stir in a little more sugar syrup. If you see more shell (quarter-sized), stir in a little water or fruit juice. Store leftover simple syrup in the refrigerator. You can use it for cocktails later, or as a sweetener for iced tea. Sorbet recipes often call for alcohol, sometimes as little

The House & Home Magazine

After simmering the simple syrup to dissolve the sugar, add any of the fol- lowing to infuse the syrup while it cools — fresh herbs, cinnamon sticks, va- nilla beans, cardamom, fresh ginger, lavender, or any other aromatic ingredi- ent. To improve texture and for a pop of flavor, add one to three tablespoons of wine, beer, or other liquor along with the simple syrup when blending the fruit. To add creaminess, blend 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any of the following along with the simple syrup when blending the fruit: coconut milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, or any other favorite creamy ingredient. (If you don’t mind adding fat calories.)

as a tablespoon, to improve texture. Alcohol reduces the mixture’s freezing point, thus making the sorbet softer and

Without an Ice Cream Maker If you have an ice cream machine, good for you! Just pour the mixture into the bowl and let the machine do all the work. If you don’t, pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet with raised sides and freeze until set. Then break up the frozen mixture and blend in the food processor until smooth. Freeze and blend again for an ultra-smooth consistency.


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