Frozen: More Unexpected Results

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_rose_sorbet_feature

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.

chopped_strawberries

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.

strawberry_rose_sorbet_churned

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.

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Notes:
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!

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22 comments

    • It is a good book, but his blog also has quite a few really good iced dessert recipes. Other good ice cream/gelato/sorbet recipes as well as information on techniques can be found on the blogs: Ice Cream Nation and Serious Eats. If you like ice cream history, the book to go for is by Robin and Caroline Weir. Sandra (ladyredspecks) recommends Gelato Messina which I don’t (yet) have. Lots of sources out there!

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  1. Delicious!! You’ve certainly done justice to the overly sweet rose. Gelato Messina recently opened one block from my house, if we were staying put, I’d never need to use my churn again!

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    • Gelato envy! And, here I am, moving to a country that is definitely not dairy rich (fresh, that is – all manner of yoghurts, cheeses, evap and UHT stuff). Am packing my churn, but will need to perfect those sorbets. That said, I have an experimental batch of frozen peach yoghurt churning as I write this. And, this granita will also go on the “possible-to-do” list.

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  2. Thanks for all the tips and links on making Gelato. I love going to the Italian cafés that serve their homemade ice cream when I ‘m in Germany. My all time favorite is hazelnut gelato.

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    • I would love to perfect nut based gelatos. They are tricky because they lack the fruit fibre and the natural sugars. I think that most of these sorts are made with a nut paste (or “butter”) rather than the raw nuts. Will look into it as hazelnut gelato sounds pretty good!

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  3. Thanks for the tips on gelato. I just made a granita that looks something like yours, but different flavours. It might show up on a future post. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with more when, as you say, the summer fruits start ripening.

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    • Can’t wait to see what you come up with! I’ve recently been experimenting with proper sorbet that is creamy and smooth with no dairy added. Found some black currants in the freezer – a clean out just in time for this season’s crop to start producing. They made an excellent sorbet!

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    • The liqueur is soooo easy to do. I have alpine strawberries growing as a ground cover and the produce quite a lot over the early summer. What I do is put a litre of vodka in a large container (with non-reactive lid) with about 400g caster sugar and a split vanilla bean. Over the period of time that the strawberries are producing, I pick, clean and pop them in the sugary vodka. You can shake the jar every once in a while and eventually, the sugar will dissolve. When the strawberries have finished producing, you should have put about 400 to 500g in. Now, the hard part begins: wait for at least 4 months. Strain and let it settle for a little while, then enjoy. It mellows with age and is a lovely pink colour. Let me know if you give it a go. It can be done with normal strawberries, but these are not as flavourful.

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      • Whilst we ain’t got wild ones, I could be doing this with some strawberries that sometimes grow in my garden. Have you done this with any other fruit?

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      • Damsons for Plum Vodka (no vanilla). Lemons for lemoncello (also no vanilla). Oranges + coffee beans + vanilla for some French concoction called Liqueur 44 (after the 44 coffee beans and 44 times the oranges are pricked with a knife point) – exceeding good. Other fruit, too, like morello cherries and quince (very nice). There may be more, but these are the ones I make and use regularly. It is very easy to do. And, they make great gifts.

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