Simple Sorbets a Refreshing Alternative

Chris Funk, today’s guest contributor, has been experimenting with sorbets for a while. A great home cook, Chris is also known for his pretzel buns. Today, he’s sharing his simple sorbet recipe, which is perfect for seasonal berries, stone fruit, apples, and pears.
                                                                                                            –Country Life

I’ve mainly started making sorbets because it was a healthier alternative than a full heavy cream or  a half and half ice cream. So it started with a strawberry sorbet: a delicious base mix, but a pain to make due to the seeds!

Then I moved onto raspberry, then peach, and now pear. Pears are just coming in here in southwest Ohio, and we have some really great ones grown locally.  Any favorite fruit will work, you just sometimes have to take the juiciness of the fruit into consideration when you’re making the sorbet. This is especially important if you decide to use a frozen fruit for the sorbet. You’ll have to thaw and drain it before moving on with the recipe.

The Ice Cream Bible at Lehmans.com

Expand your dessert skills: includes recipes for gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbets. At Lehman’s in Kidron or at Lehmans.com.

I’ll try anything in a sorbet recipe. Recently, I was leaving a family function, and there were some leftovers on the fruit tray. My wife said, “Honey, don’t even think about it. There’s not enough of anything left.” Except that if I combined the strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and honeydew together, it wouldn’t be a bad mix and it was right about the amount of fruit I need for a batch of sorbet!

I use all simple ratios to build the recipes. My basic is:

about 3 cups of prepared fruit
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/4-1/2 cup of corn syrup

Don’t freak out at the ‘corn syrup’ on the recipe. This isn’t the high-fructose corn syrup you see in junk food. This is genuine corn syrup, usually found next to pancake syrups or in the baking aisle of your grocery store. Karo is a common brand, and it comes in dark and light varieties. In the south, you’ll find several brands–just make sure they’re corn syrup. Dark and light can be a matter of taste. Dark corn syrup has a more molasses flavor. Because fruit flavors can be delicate, you may want to start out with clear or ‘white’ corn syrup.

Cooked berries, cherries, water and syrup, ready to go into the ice cream freezer.

Cooked berries, cherries, water and syrup, ready to go into the ice cream freezer.

My latest sorbet is a Cherry Berry. I used seasonal berries and fruit, and it came together pretty easily. Before starting, chill your ice cream/sorbet maker to manufacturer’s suggestion.

Cherry Berry Sorbet
2 lbs sweet cherries, pitted and de-stemmed.
1 pint blueberries
1 lime
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 corn syrup

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup until sugar is dissolved. Add in pitted cherries and blueberries. Zest and juice lime. Add juice and lime zest into saucepan. Cook on low heat until cherries are softened.

 

Chilled Sorbet at 'soft-serve' consistency, ready to go into the freezer.

Chilled Sorbet at ‘soft-serve’ consistency, ready to go into the freezer.

Remove the mixture from heat and bring to room temperature. Puree mixture in food processor until smooth. Strain mixture by pouring through fine sieve and pressing through with a rubber spatula or strain through cheesecloth to remove seeds and skin. You can skip the straining step if you like the texture of the skins in the mix. Chill mixture 1-2 hours.

Small crank Ice cream freezer

1-Quart Ice Cream Freezer makes treats fast. Small size is ideal for sorbets. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at Lehmans.com.

If you have an ice cream maker, start machine and add mix. With an electric machine, stir 20-25 minutes and mixture should be soft-serve consistency. Move to airtight container and freeze 4-8 hours.

If you don’t have an electric machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sorbet.

Not getting the right texture? Thaw the sorbet, add a touch more syrup. Too thin? Thaw it out, boil out some of the lquid.  Or add more fruit. If you did it your ice cream maker, pop it spin it again after you tweak it.

You’ll never have to trash a batch of sorbet. It has the flexibility to come back every time, until you have it just right.

Sorbets are very easy to make and play with, much easier than ice cream, really. And depending on the berries that are in season, cheaper to make.

Finished sorbet, smooth and ready to serve.

Finished sorbet, smooth and ready to serve.

Want more sorbet recipes? Take a look at our blogger Jacquline’s recipe for Raspberry Sorbet at http://www.deeprootsathome.com/summertime-raspberry-sorbet/