After making inroads into a case of sweet fizzy rosé bought on impulse by making various gelatin desserts, I stumbled across a fabulous recipe for a berry-rosé sorbet in David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and granitas. There are little stories, bits of history, and many brilliant recipes. As Lebovitz mentions, the use of a sweet rosé is a perfect solution for a minimum fuss sorbet. The alcohol prevents much of the water content from freezing solid into a block of ice and the churning helps breaking up those ice crystals and producing a fairly smooth end product. But, for reasons listed below in my notes, I consider this more a Sicilian-style granita, with its fine ice-granular texture, than a smooth sorbet. Brilliant berry taste, whatever it is called!
Strawberry Rosé Granita
I’ve tweeked Lebovitz’s recipe somewhat – substituting a little golden syrup for some of the sugar and added a soupçon of my homemade fragola, a lovely sweet wild strawberry liquor.
- 400g fresh strawberries
- 500ml sweet rosé
- 50g sugar
- 60ml (approximately 1/4 cup) golden syrup or corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon fragola or other strawberry liquor, optional
In a sauce pan, add the sugar and syrup, and bring up to heat on low so that the sugar dissolves. Slowly add the rosé and let it heat for a few minutes, just to the point that it begins to boil. Boiling will dissapate some of the alcohol. Turn off heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, clean and hull your strawberries, mash or blitz in a food processor, and pass the fruit pulp through a sieve to remove most of the seeds.
Add the strawberry pulp and spoon in the fragola to the cooled rosé mixture. Stir so that it is uniformly smooth. Cool completely in the refrigerator before processing it in your ice cream machine.
Once processed, you will notice (as Lebovitz indicates) the product is slushy. Decant into a container and freeze for at least a few hours to firm up. Because it does not have a stabaliser, the granita melts quickly and does not require resting out of the freezer before scooping. Serve and eat immediately.
* * *
1. A fantastic article on the blog Serious Eats explains the nature of alcohol in ice creams. Its main dictate is that while alcohol will make the frozen product softer and easier to scoop, it will not, on its own, produce a smooth product; it is not a stabaliser and does not prevent the formation of ice crystals. One way to mitigate the crystal problem is the use of a high gloucose syrup sweetener that I discussed in my previous post, The Art and Science of Gelato Making. Corn syrup, in particular, used in sorbet making is discussed in another article by Serious Eats. It is well worth reading and evaluating the results of their test sorbets made with various proportions of syrup and sugar.
2. A better method for producing smooth sorbets – rather than smoothish granitas – is by introducing a stabaliser, such as a gelatin, pectin, fruit fiber, or specialist products such as maltodextrin and xantham gum, the latter two used by Sandra in producing her luscious chocolate sorbet. Egg whites (in the form of an Italian meringue) are also traditional stabalisers, something which I hope to experiment with in the near future. I am waiting for the fruit in the garden to start producing before churning out proper sorbets.
3. Just like those rosé gelatin desserts, I’m now thinking that a sweet red fizzy might also make a good granita, perhaps paired with blackberries or even black currants.
4. It’s looking like we may have to order more of this sweet fizzy rosé!