In My Sorbetto Kitchen

Sorbetti have been the highlight of my kitchen this past month. First, strawberry season reached its peak and the price came tumbling down in the market. It was time to make jam and (of course) sorbetto now that I am finding my way around the delicate balancing of different types of sugars, stabilisers, liquids and fruit pulp.

I’ve made strawberry sorbetto simply by blending sugar syrup with  purée of fresh fruit, leaving all the tiny pips in. For a smoother product, I also pressed the purée through a sieve with much smoother results. That latter process, of course, leaves a byproduct of seedy pulp. Rather than letting it go to waste, I thought I’d make a strawberry lemonade, a pretty pale pinky-orange. There is a lot more seedy pulp in the freezer for more experimenting.

Keeping with the berry theme, ‘fruits of the forest’ sorbet was next. This was made easily with bags of frozen fruit mix of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red and black currants, blueberries and a few black cherries. Since I had a number of bags of this mix, it was made several times.

The ‘fruits of the forest’ seedy pulp was first used to make berry flavoured vinegar and then a simple berry syrup made like a simple syrup, but soaking the seedy pulp in water then straining before adding sugar. It makes a great topping for pancakes – wholewheat sourdough, in this case.

I’ ve also revised my mandarin sorbetto with a greater proportion of juice to water. Since I had a few litres of mandarin juice in the freezer, I thought it might be put to good use experimenting with different stabilisers, the ingredient that increases viscosity, inhibits rapid melting and adds stability in ice crystal formation on re-freezing. In the end, I evaluated two – xanthan gum (left in the image below) and locust bean gum (right). Naturally, both have good points and both have disadvantages.

I also made chocolate sorbet from Nick Palumbo’s wonderful book, Gelato Messina. This recipe was blogged about a few years ago by Sandra @ Please Pass the Recipe and ever since reading her post, I’ve been meaning to try it. I followed the recipe, but added a teaspoon of vanilla to the cooled mixture as vanilla is known to enhance the flavour of chocolate. It is so easy and wonderful, tasting like those yummy fudgsicles from my youth – only much much better. It is very refreshing and it will certainly feature in my future sorbetti repertoire.

That recipe led me to wonder how it might be translated into coffee or mocha flavour. Indeed, the experiment was a great success, so I’ll be posting about it soon.

A monthly IMK (In My Kitchen) post. Check out other IMK bloggers, each of us writing about what’s been happening in our kitchens each month, hosted by Sherry @ Sherry’s Pickings. Earlier IMK posts can be found on former IMK host blogs: Liz @ Bizzy Lizzys Good Things, Maureen @ The Orgasmic Chef) and the fabulous Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who began the IMK phenomenon. A chronological listing of my In My Kitchen blog posts can be found on a separate page, just click the link or look under the heading of Diaries in the Menu bar above.
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12 comments

  1. That chocolate sorbet!! I just checked out Sandra’s recipe (I follow her too) and it sounds utterly divine. Alas, I don’t have an ice cream churn and don’t think I have room in the kitchen for yet another appliance. First world problems…

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    • The chocolate sorbet is divine! My ice cream churn lives in my pantry and comes out to be put into action. Back in my UK kitchen it lived in the basement for want of space. You find space when you really need it! But, I know what you mean my not enough space for yet another appliance. My next kitchen will be a tardis.

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  2. Thanks for the shout out Deb, you’re very generous. Odd as it may seem, berry season is in full swing here in mid winter. AS fast as I buy berries the grand daughters devour them. I think I’ll have to hide the next lot so I can make some sorbet and have the pippy detritus to make drinks. Love the peek into your sorbet kitchen

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    • I loved the sound of that chocolate sorbet when I first read your post. It took me a while to actually try it. Now I wished I would have done it sooner since we absolutely loved it. Within a month or so, several batches have been made. Surprisingly, it is fantastic paired with an orange sorbet – one scoop each is fantastic (plus, you get 2 scoops). Odd that berries are a winter crop, but you are lucky to have them in tropical climes. I used to go berry picking with my son when he was little and he would usually come home with an almost empty basket since he was too busy eating them!

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  3. hi Deb
    I hope you don’t mind but i have added your IMK post to the link up as clearly this is an IMK post:=) I saw it a few days ago and waited a bit but thought why not add it? love the sorbet here. i often make them too with frozen fruit. I adore chocolate and orange together – jaffas anyone? Yum.

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    • Hi Sherry, I thought I followed your instructions and added the link, but it obviously didn’t work! Yes, please add it to the IMK list. You are right – one scoop of chocolate and one of orange sorbet is divine. We have ‘sweet’ orange trees here which are actually sour (not bitter like the seville oranges) and really cannot be eaten as fresh fruit. My solution is to juice them and make orangeade or sorbet. The sour oranges are perfect for these two recipes – like lemons. The only problem is that I now have to wait until the next orange season (winter) to harvest. I’ve used the last of my frozen juice!

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  4. With our heat I should be making sorbetto, sorbets and ice creams as well! Time to get out the churn! We have a peach ice cream planned using the last of my local peaches.

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