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Sorbet: Tips, Techniques, Recipes

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Balsamic vinegar also contains a decent amount of residual sugar, providing it with some freezing point depression capabilities

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your best bet is to make a blasamic reduction, making a syrup in which will have a higher sugar to water ratio when added.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Acids will lower the freezing point of water to the degree that they will dissolve in it. Acetic acid doesn't dissolve completely, so affects the freezing point more weakly than, say, salts or alcohols.

emphasis added by MelissaH

Actually, acetic acid is miscible with water: the two will mix (and dissolve) completely, regardless of the proportions of each. However, acetic acid is a weak acid, chemically speaking, which means that is does not dissociate completely into acetate ion and H+ (rather than staying together as one molecule of acetic acid).

Trying not to get too technical, here's a brief discussion of freezing point depression. If you dissolve stuff in a substance, the freezing point of a substance is lowered. The amount the freezing point is lowered depends ONLY on the concentration of PARTICLES of added stuff. Salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) completely ionizes in water to form Na+ cation and Cl- anion. Thus, one unit of NaCl will dissolve in water to make two particles. Sugar, on the other hand, dissolves without dissociating, so one sugar dissolves in water to make one particle. Thus, if you had two aqueous solutions, one of NaCl in some concentration and the other with an equal concentration of sugar, the solution of NaCl would have a lower freezing point than the solution of sugar: even though the concentrations of NaCl and sugar are the same, the solution of NaCl has TWICE as many particles as the solution of sugar. Acetic acid is a weak acid, so some of it will dissociate but some will not. Therefore, acetic acid won't lower the freezing point as much as a salt will, but the freezing point will be lowered. Alcohol won't dissociate when it dissolves in water either.

That said: in general, the vinegars that we can buy in the store are NOT pure acetic acid, but only about 5 or 6% acetic acid in water (maybe with some other stuff added). Remember that the more particles get added, the lower the freezing point. So getting rid of some of the water and making the vinegar more concentrated would certainly help to lower the freezing point even more.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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thanks for detailing that melissa :biggrin:

Too bad people dont like cured salmon sorbet, because with all that salt we wouldnt ever have to worry about the freezing point.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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thanks for detailing that melissa  :biggrin:

Too bad people dont like cured salmon sorbet, because with all that salt we wouldnt ever have to worry about the freezing point.

Actually, you might: too much salt and the freezing point will be so low that it won't freeze under normal ice-cream maker conditions at all! :shock:

Cold cured salmon soup, anyone?

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Trying not to get too technical, here's a brief discussion of freezing point depression. If you dissolve stuff in a substance, the freezing point of a substance is lowered. The amount the freezing point is lowered depends ONLY on the concentration of PARTICLES of added stuff. Salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) completely ionizes in water to form Na+ cation and Cl- anion. Thus, one unit of NaCl will dissolve in water to make two particles. Sugar, on the other hand, dissolves without dissociating, so one sugar dissolves in water to make one particle. Thus, if you had two aqueous solutions, one of NaCl in some concentration and the other with an equal concentration of sugar, the solution of NaCl would have a lower freezing point than the solution of sugar: even though the concentrations of NaCl and sugar are the same, the solution of NaCl has TWICE as many particles as the solution of sugar. Acetic acid is a weak acid, so some of it will dissociate but some will not. Therefore, acetic acid won't lower the freezing point as much as a salt will, but the freezing point will be lowered. Alcohol won't dissociate when it dissolves in water either.

MelissaH

But sucrose has a molecular weight for 342 while salt has a molecular weight of 58.5 so shouldn't that mean a given weight of salt should be over 10 times more effective at lowering the freezing point than a given weight of sugar?


PS: I am a guy.

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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback.

Unfortunately my Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet didn't quite set firm enough after a day in the main freezer. Initialy I made the mixture taste good then double checked the density to be at about 16 degrees baume. My mixture was slighty too warm during the degree check. There wasn't very much vinegar in it though, just a bit too taste.

If anyone uses the floating density meter please tell me what number you take your final syrup to....I had about an inch of glass meter sticking out of the top syrup line.

Have a nice day!

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Acids will lower the freezing point of water to the degree that they will dissolve in it. Acetic acid doesn't dissolve completely, so affects the freezing point more weakly than, say, salts or alcohols.

Hey Moopeus, is the title of your avatar, Busted! ?? Who is that helping him/herself??? :laugh:

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hey nathan

the tomato oil sounds good

i used to make all of my herb oils in the paco

and serve them as herb oil ice cream qu enelles

basil is really excellent great taste and color

i think milk powder might be a good avenue for work for you as well

my favorite pate a bombe base has almost no sugar just water atomized glucose milk powder and egg yolks, you can do anything with it

only trick is the eggs

alternatively the wonderful world of stabilizing agents obviously will work; pectin is an old favorite, the mango sorbet can be mimicked by simulating the viscosity

i would suggest that rheology should be further pursued if one were to make a table of savory ice creams/viscous nature will prove to be the key i bet

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Good suggestions. Basil oil ice cream sounds great and is exactly the sort of thing that I have wanted.

The interesting question with the pacojet is getting the the right combination of fats / oils and lowered freezing point so that you get an ice cream like texture as opposed to powder. I love the powders too, but it is a different sensation and different goal.

Good ice cream "design" means knowing the freezing point lowering due to sugars, the solds content (via nonfat dry milk) and the fat content. There is a lot of knowledge about this and good information for all of this in various sources. Ideally I would like to know what combinations of fat and other ingredients will make a ice cream like texture in paco jet versus a powder.

The suggestion of milk solids is a good one. That certainly helps some ice creams.

I'll try various stabilizers. However mostly stabilizers and gums are about what happens as the product warms up - they gel and hold it together. You can easily make a powder in the pacojet with a stabilizer in it - it just won't melt the same way as without. To get the ice cream texture you need the right mixture of fat and lower freezing point (I think).

In a machine other than a pacojet the story is a bit different. A mixture which would be a coarse granita in a conventional ice cream freezer will be a powder in the pacojet. However, by the time you have the right mix to get an ice cream texture it will probably funciton in both paco and not....


Nathan

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I've made savory sorbets in a batch freezer.

I used a barely detectable amount of glucose, which is about a third as sweet as sugar (about 100 grams to a quart) and a vegetable stock with high salt content.

Basically the veg stock is a trick to hide a lot of salt, which depresses the freezing point.

Corn Sorbet (for batch freezer)

3c white corn, pureed (and cob, removed before straining)

4 sprigs thyme

2c vegtable stock (salted)

1c water

1c buttermilk

1tsp butter extract

100g glucose

3g stabilizer

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Yesterday, to celebrate my joining the eGullet Society :smile: , I decided to make a couple of summer sorbets. I have this great primer on sorbets from an old issue of Cook's Illustrated (Aug., '95) and use that as a guideline for whatever fruit I find that looks and smells like it might be time to freeze!

Here are the sorbets still in their liquid state:

gallery_6902_4825_54570.jpg

And here, just coming out of the chill are honeydew and strawberry sorbets:

gallery_6902_4825_23137.jpg

gallery_6902_4825_63662.jpg

And finally, in the bowl:

gallery_6902_4825_34653.jpg

They both tasted great, but were quite different texturally, the melon being light and airy, while the strawberry was dense and thick on the tongue. That can be seen in the way the scoops hold together - the honeydew doesn't. I need to play around a bit with the amount of water I use when pureeing the fruit...in this case, I didn't really add any water to the honeydew, while I used about 1/2 cup of water for the quart of strawberries (surprisingly tasty). They were both strained...I don't know if that helps the honeydew, but I think it makes for a much better sorbet when seedy fruits are used.

What are you freezing?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Nothing like a straight fruit puree sorbet!

I've found the most important part of making sorbet (beyond the quality and ripeness of the fruit) is to have enough sugar. Too little and it lacks the smooth, creamy texture I seek. How much to add varies with the inherent sugar of the fruit. Given that honeydew doesn't have the sugar density of strawberries, I wonder if this was responsible for the less than ideal texture of your melon sorbet?

How did the honeydew sorbet taste? I would imagine the hardest part is picking out a good ripe melon.

A couple weeks ago I found some super ripe peaches that, because of their condition, I obtained at a very cheap price from a local farmer who sells at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. Only had to cut away a very minute portion of the fruit. The sorbet was just the fruit (put through a Foley) and sugar syrup (2 sugar : 1 water) to taste. Came out luscious.

Other fruits I've done with success over the past two years: cherries (both pie and sweet; I prefer the pie), blackberries, prickly pear, lemon, lime, orange. It's not a fruit, but cocoa makes killer chocolate sorbet; earlier this summer I added cocoa to pie cherry and it was astounding. Depending on the fruit, you might want to consider adding compatible spices on occasion, though pure fruit is still my go-to sorbet.

I've put blackberriers through a fine strainer, which is a pain, but I wonder if doing it with the Foley will keep the pesky seeds out? Anyone tried this?


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I recently did a honeydew and a cantaloupe sorbet. I actually made the melon purees for a cantaloupe sherbet and a honeydew sherbet that I did over the weekend but I had more melon than I needed and used the rest for sorbets. I used honey to sweeten them a bit because I think it works well with those melons and a bit of lemon juice to brighten them up and was very happy with the results. The local wild blueberries are still going strong, I have two gallon pails of them on the table right now, so I think I'll do that next.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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This summer I've done mango, passionfruit, cherimoya, coconut, rhubarb, and lime ginger. The hardest thing for me about fruit sorbets is that most of the time I find I have to make them too sweet in order to get the right consistency, or too intense if I try to balance the sweetness with acidity. This isn't a problem with pectin rich fruits like mexico, but it can be tricky for thinner, icier sorbets. I've been playing around a bit with glucose/honey/gelatin/pectin and all the other tools you can play around with for sorbets, but haven't done much since I lost access to the machine I was using. I am in the process of buying one; I hope to get around to some serious investigation at some point with a hydrometer and all those other tools.

I agree that if the fruit is good enough, little else is needed besides some sugar/acid to restore the balance of flavors if you're diluting. It can be nice to play around a bit though; spices, souring agents, citrus peels, alcohols, and fresh herbs make room for delicious creativity.

Spices I've tried or want to try: cardamom, fennel, star anise, black & white pepper, and cloves.

Herbs I've tried or want to try: pandanus, mint, coriander, thyme, lavender.

Ah I need to get a sorbetiere, so many possibilties; citrus zest infused simple syrups, alcoholic bitters, interesting citrus juices (bitter orange, meyer lemon, yuzu, kalamansi, etc).

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I've put blackberriers through a fine strainer, which is a pain, but I wonder if doing it with the Foley will keep the pesky seeds out? Anyone tried this?

I've used a foley to remove seeds from blackberries. Works well, if you have the kind of foley that has several differently-sized strainers. I use the one with the smallest holes, and it works fine. I've found that the foleys that are all one piece don't work as well, because the holes are too large and the seeds get through.

Doesn't remove most of the seeds from red or black raspberries, however. I always end up using a drum strainer for that.

Eileen


Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Nothing like a straight fruit puree sorbet!

I've found the most important part of making sorbet (beyond the quality and ripeness of the fruit) is to have enough sugar. Too little and it lacks the smooth, creamy texture I seek. How much to add varies with the inherent sugar of the fruit. Given that honeydew doesn't have the sugar density of strawberries, I wonder if this was responsible for the less than ideal texture of your melon sorbet?

How did the honeydew sorbet taste? I would imagine the hardest part is picking out a good ripe melon.

Absolutely true, as far as the sugar quantities go...that's what the article in that old Cook's Illustrated was all about...enough sugar (w/o becoming cloying) and using lemon juice to balance the sweetness.

According to the chart that accompanied the article, honeydew has a sugar content of 10% and strawberries have 7% (depending on ripeness, of course). The honeydew I used was almost overripe, imo, but I ended up with a much thinner puree than the strawberries, which almost certainly affected the final texture.

The taste of the honeydew sorbet is pure honeydew - almost surprisingly so, since I often have problems picking a good honeydew - when they smell great, they're usually too ripe!


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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OK! that does it , I'm grabbing the last of the black cherries!

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a few nights ago I had a fabulous Charentais melon sorbetto at la Posta, a wonderful little Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA. Perfect ending for a summer meal

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The honeydew may be less dense because melons (and kiwis, and a few other fruits) have enzymes that break gelatin and pectin gels. Harold McGee says they're tough to use in a couple of things, but I can't remember if ice cream/sorbet was one. In any case, yours looks fantastic! I missed the market this week, but the Cuisinart will come out next week for some hot (?) fruit sorbet action. In the mean time...star anise perhaps?

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Y'all have given me another excuse to freeze fruit during the summer, and another use for those cherries I pitted and froze earlier. Thanks for the inspiration!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Redcurrant

This must have been a lovely color and quite bracing... Did you serve it with anything else or what is a palate cleanser between courses?

How wonderful to have enough red currants to make sorbet with it!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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gallery_7620_135_114479.jpg

I remembered wrongly - it was white currant, and very lovely it was too.

Served with Summer Pudding.

Inspired by a reference here to http://www.historicfood.com/Georgian%20Ices.htm for a version of muscadine ice described as "the most spectacular ice of all time". Delicious, like frozen currants with a good balance of acid and sugar, but I would not go that far.

However I doubt the original having both elderflower and white currants in the same sorbet since they are not available at the same time, and the currant would swamp the elderflower, I guess you could use cordial. I tried some with cordial, and did not notice a lot of difference.

I used the proportions in Mc Gee's Curious cook for sweet water ices

I cup currant juice,

13Tbs sugar

1Tbs lemon juice

1/2 cup water

Its been a good year for currants. One bush of white currants made about 3 pints of juice, enough for both jelly and sorbet.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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