Friday, February 04, 2011

Sorbets: Strawberry & Soursop-Passion

Soursup-Passion & Strawberry Sortbet-iii

I never thought I could made a sorbet at home. It seemed a fancy restaurant item, that washed away flavors between courses, or was served as a light, refreshing end to a long heavy meal. But no, I’ve just started making sorbets at home, and you can make them with no more than a regular fridge, with a freezer :), and a hand held beater – what is some times called a bar mix. Of course, you can upgrade to more sophisticated machines, but no – for some kinds of sorbets at least, you do not have to.
Sorbets don’t have eggs or cream or butter, and as such you can safely say, they are pretty low fat. Which is a nice break if you like them, and have to worry about good fat and bad, I suppose. I’ve just started making sorbets, and in the photo is my third set really – my guide, as is for most desserts is Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques. But I changed things around a bit.
Now, all I’ve tried so far, are fruit puree sorbets, and I think they may be the easiest to do. And they are inexpensive. For the strawberry sorbet, I started with two cups of washed, diced strawberries (Jagro, available from Food City or Keels, any where, I think), 1/3 cup of plain sugar, and little less water. First, boil the sugar and water in a thick bottomed saucepan. Changing the consistency of the sugar, by boiling it, is the first important process that will thicken your sorbet and get the constancy right. Apart from taste, of course, texture is every thing here – the two extremes to avoid, is a popsicle-like ice, and on the other side, a cold syrup. You want a middle ground. So boil the sugar in little less water than its volume. When its boiled for a min or two, not long (boiling sugar syrups is one of the more complicated things in dessert making -- if you keep boiling, many interesting things will happen, but you may go well beyond your sorbet) add the chopped strawberries. Bring to a boil again, and take it off the fire. Puree. Add some lime juice; this should really highlight and intensify the flavor of the fruit you are using. Add more, if the puree is too sweet for you.
Put this in a plastic bowl, or box, just a freezer proof one – regular from anywhere, and set your freezer to max, and pop it in. (To max out your freezer, you may need to set the fridge to min. You may also have a place in your freezer, that is designed for quick freeze. Use that.) In an hour, maybe longer, a crust will form on the top. But it should be still liquid below. Great, take it out and re-puree it, with a hand mixer, if you have one. This is really quite inexpensive, but a huge help. (Otherwise, use the container of your table top blender to begin with.) I always taste it at this point! 
Now, the big secret – add some alcohol. Well, 100 ml would be fine, if you started with two cups. I like vodka because it gives a slightly bitter aftertaste, that leavens the sweetness and tartness of the puree, but not much else of a taste. But of course, I think any thing would do. Process wise, the point here is that alcohol does not freeze at 0˚C. Blending in alcohol will prevent your sorbet from becoming a popsicle. Back in the freezer. It should be all set overnight, and you can puree it one more time. Back in freezer, which you can re-set to normal and it's ready to be eaten at dinner time. This should work with any fruit puree. But it's better to start with a fruit that’s quite tart – strawberries, soursop and passion fruit have all worked well for me. I’ve worked with mango, but you need a not so ripe mango, or it will end up too sweet. Soursop (Annona muricata) is so tart, you can even add store bought passion fruit juice (not cordial!), and it will still be really well balanced at the end.
Soursup-Passion & Strawberry Sortbet-i


Dominic Sansoni said...


Very beautiful - does it taste good :)

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

thank you Dom! Well, people liked it at dinner, and asked for seconds and thirds. So guess so! I think soursop and passion really work well; strawberry didn't as well -- but was ok.

Angel said...

Wow... anodha sorbet...?! Now that is beyond cool! :D

Pradeep Jeganathan said...

Yes, indeed. tell me if you make it!

tabletop fridge said...

Oh, how beautiful! it must taste good :)

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