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. ThisSandra @ 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.recipe was blogged about a few years ago by
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.