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Sorbet: Tips, Techniques, Troubleshooting, and Recipes


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hi Steve,

Liquid nitrogen maybe? Or is that not practical...

The deposit on a tank would seem a bit impractical??? :unsure:

hi tan319,

I know. I just can't get it off my mind(b/c of the many diff. flavors you could creat w/ LN). But somehow intimidated by the safety issues.

If, Steve could get a uni lab to agree to produce in their lab, then shift the product back to shop...what do you think?

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I'm not sure that LN is more dangerous then 375f oil but...

The purity of flavour with it would surely wow the guests.

A thought I just had is Isomalt.

Diabetics can have that.

Mixed with water it could be used just like simple syrup, I believe?

Check it out.

2317/5000

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SUGAR-FREE SORBET? Help!

We have a customer who would like us to make a trio of sugar-free sorbets. Splenda is not allowed.  But stevia, agave, palm sugar, or other more natural sweeteners are okay. Has anyone done this successfully? I thought I'd ask before plunging in head first and eyes closed.

Cheers,

Steve

I would not recommend stevia as it adds a distinct grassy flavor that would be out of place in most sorbets (and, I think, is out of place in just about ANY dish). If you can use palm sugar, that's great and while it also has a flavor to it, it's not nearly as discordant as stevia's -- it's almost caramel-like. I'm surprised that palm sugar is okay but cane and beet sugar aren't, but if that's the case, that would be a good substitution.

--Josh

Well stevia might be OK if you are making Vernors sorbet or root beer sorbet or something like that. Vernors is a type of ginger ale sold in Michigan.

Though, isn't it illegal to use stevia?

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Well stevia might be OK if you are making Vernors sorbet or root beer sorbet or something like that.  Vernors is a type of ginger ale sold in Michigan.

Though, isn't it illegal to use stevia?

...or semi-savory sorbets like basil or wasabi...

I hadn't heard that it was illegal to use stevia. We have a health food store (well, HAD, it closed a few months ago) that had a variety of stevia sweeteners. I'd be surprised if they were selling something illegal out on the shelves like that. But I'll ask at the co-op next time I'm there -- they'll know.

--Josh

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  • 4 months later...

Hey everyone I was wondering how do you keep sorbet from seperating? When I make sorbets in my ice cream/sorbet maker, they seem to seperate(it almost turns back into juice) in a couple of days. I though maybe it's my freezer, but I don't think it is. Can you help me please?

Thanks :biggrin:

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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First, try less sugar. If there is too much sugar it won't freeze properly and will end up as a tub of icy goo. In my experience freezers need to be around 15 to 18 degrees below freezing to keep ice cream and sorbet frozen but scoop-able, and if everything else seems frozen except the sorbet, it probably is the recipe's fault.

There are commercially available ice cream and sorbet stabilizers, or you can try adding a little pectin or gelatin or an egg white. I think sorbets made from juices are less forgiving than those made from more pulpy fruits, so sometimes I'll do something like pear-lemon where the pear gives it more body and it doesn't separate like plain lemon sorbet often seems to.

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First, try less sugar.  If there is too much sugar it won't freeze properly and will end up as a tub of icy goo.  In my experience freezers need to be around 15 to 18 degrees below freezing to keep ice cream and sorbet frozen but scoop-able, and if everything else seems frozen except the sorbet, it probably is the recipe's fault. 

There are commercially available ice cream and sorbet stabilizers, or you can try adding a little pectin or gelatin or an egg white.  I think sorbets made from juices are less forgiving than those made from more pulpy fruits, so sometimes I'll do something like pear-lemon where the pear gives it more body and it doesn't separate like plain lemon sorbet often seems to.

Thanks I'll have to give that a try next time I have 2 make sorbet which should be in acouple of days.

peace :smile:

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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First, try less sugar.  If there is too much sugar it won't freeze properly and will end up as a tub of icy goo.  In my experience freezers need to be around 15 to 18 degrees below freezing to keep ice cream and sorbet frozen but scoop-able, and if everything else seems frozen except the sorbet, it probably is the recipe's fault. 

There are commercially available ice cream and sorbet stabilizers, or you can try adding a little pectin or gelatin or an egg white.  I think sorbets made from juices are less forgiving than those made from more pulpy fruits, so sometimes I'll do something like pear-lemon where the pear gives it more body and it doesn't separate like plain lemon sorbet often seems to.

Thanks I'll have to give that a try next time I have 2 make sorbet which should be in a couple of days.

peace :smile:

This will help

Get a scale

Weigh your water and sugar , equal weights, combine, bring to boil, cool.

After syrup is cool, take puree, whatever flavor you're working with, into container

Wash a fresh egg in shell, gently place in/on puree

Add syrup until egg is showing between a quarters worth and a dimes worth of shell.

If it's a highly acidic flavor ( passion fruit/lime eg) you will have to add a bit of water more than likely.

As silly as it seems, and I don't like using this method at all, it works! Short of using a sugar densimeter or a refractometer this will solve the problem 90 % or more of the time of separation/crystallization, etc.

PS:If making a beer sorbet or juice w/o much fiber structure blend a bit of sweet apple or maybe even a very neutrally flavored applesauce and you'll find that will go a long way towards eliminating "wet" spots, etc.

This technique is in the excellent "Grand Livre Desserts et Patisseries" by Frederic Robert & Alain Ducasse

Good Luck

Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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First, try less sugar.  If there is too much sugar it won't freeze properly and will end up as a tub of icy goo.  In my experience freezers need to be around 15 to 18 degrees below freezing to keep ice cream and sorbet frozen but scoop-able, and if everything else seems frozen except the sorbet, it probably is the recipe's fault. 

There are commercially available ice cream and sorbet stabilizers, or you can try adding a little pectin or gelatin or an egg white.  I think sorbets made from juices are less forgiving than those made from more pulpy fruits, so sometimes I'll do something like pear-lemon where the pear gives it more body and it doesn't separate like plain lemon sorbet often seems to.

Thanks I'll have to give that a try next time I have 2 make sorbet which should be in a couple of days.

peace :smile:

This will help

Get a scale

Weigh your water and sugar , equal weights, combine, bring to boil, cool.

After syrup is cool, take puree, whatever flavor you're working with, into container

Wash a fresh egg in shell, gently place in/on puree

Add syrup until egg is showing between a quarters worth and a dimes worth of shell.

If it's a highly acidic flavor ( passion fruit/lime eg) you will have to add a bit of water more than likely.

As silly as it seems, and I don't like using this method at all, it works! Short of using a sugar densimeter or a refractometer this will solve the problem 90 % or more of the time of separation/crystallization, etc.

PS:If making a beer sorbet or juice w/o much fiber structure blend a bit of sweet apple or maybe even a very neutrally flavored applesauce and you'll find that will go a long way towards eliminating "wet" spots, etc.

This technique is in the excellent "Grand Livre Desserts et Patisseries" by Frederic Robert & Alain Ducasse

Good Luck

That's really interesting about the egg. I'll definitely have to try it out, Thanks

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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The egg bit works "ok" in place of a hydrometer or refractometer but it's all for naught if you don't start with a balanced syrup = weighed water and sugar.

Good luck!

Just a quick question what does the egg do? Does it tell me how much acidcity that is in the sorbet mix?

Thanks

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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The egg bit works "ok" in place of a hydrometer or refractometer but it's all for naught if you don't start with a balanced syrup = weighed water and sugar.

Good luck!

Just a quick question what does the egg do? Does it tell me how much acidcity that is in the sorbet mix?

Thanks

It tells you the sugar concentration, via bouyancy. The more sugar in the solution, the higher the egg will sit in it. So, if your egg is barely peeking through, only a dime sized area showing, add more sugar/syrup until you get a nickle to quarter size patch of egg above the surface. If you already have more than that showing, add water until the egg sinks to that level. It is a rough guide at best. After some practice tasting the base and noting the frozen results, you'll get a feel for how sweet the base should taste. Of course if you are using commercial juices, purees, or IQF fruit, it will be easier to establish consistent recipes than if you are using fruit of varying ripeness and making it up as you go along - not that there is anything wrong with that, it will just take practice.

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The egg bit works "ok" in place of a hydrometer or refractometer but it's all for naught if you don't start with a balanced syrup = weighed water and sugar.

Good luck!

Just a quick question what does the egg do? Does it tell me how much acidcity that is in the sorbet mix?

Thanks

It tells you the sugar concentration, via bouyancy. The more sugar in the solution, the higher the egg will sit in it. So, if your egg is barely peeking through, only a dime sized area showing, add more sugar/syrup until you get a nickle to quarter size patch of egg above the surface. If you already have more than that showing, add water until the egg sinks to that level. It is a rough guide at best. After some practice tasting the base and noting the frozen results, you'll get a feel for how sweet the base should taste. Of course if you are using commercial juices, purees, or IQF fruit, it will be easier to establish consistent recipes than if you are using fruit of varying ripeness and making it up as you go along - not that there is anything wrong with that, it will just take practice.

Thanks pastrygirl, I'm making a sorbet as we speak. So for my base I weighed my sugar and water, since my sorbet is a kaffir lime and I'm using fresh lime juice I added an ounce more water to try to cut the acidcity. (a tip I got from tan319...Thanks) So hopefully it will work. Unfourtunally I don't have any eggs on hand, so I couldn't try the egg thrick. Thanks everybody for your input :cool:

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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The egg bit works "ok" in place of a hydrometer or refractometer but it's all for naught if you don't start with a balanced syrup = weighed water and sugar.

Good luck!

Just a quick question what does the egg do? Does it tell me how much acidcity that is in the sorbet mix?

Thanks

It tells you the sugar concentration, via bouyancy. The more sugar in the solution, the higher the egg will sit in it. So, if your egg is barely peeking through, only a dime sized area showing, add more sugar/syrup until you get a nickle to quarter size patch of egg above the surface. If you already have more than that showing, add water until the egg sinks to that level. It is a rough guide at best. After some practice tasting the base and noting the frozen results, you'll get a feel for how sweet the base should taste. Of course if you are using commercial juices, purees, or IQF fruit, it will be easier to establish consistent recipes than if you are using fruit of varying ripeness and making it up as you go along - not that there is anything wrong with that, it will just take practice.

Thanks pastrygirl, I'm making a sorbet as we speak. So for my base I weighed my sugar and water, since my sorbet is a kaffir lime and I'm using fresh lime juice I added an ounce more water to try to cut the acidcity. (a tip I got from tan319...Thanks) So hopefully it will work. Unfourtunally I don't have any eggs on hand, so I couldn't try the egg thrick. Thanks everybody for your input :cool:

I know this sounds stupid but...., if you're missing the egg, then you're missing the point.

Weighing your ing. for syrup is the first step.

But seeing where your mix is at is key.

This would help immensely

2317/5000

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I used to start with simple syrup but now I've moved away from it. To me, I want the minimum amount of water in the sorbet as possible so as to maximise flavor. Instead, I simply add sugar directly to the blended fruit mixture until I've reached the desired sweetness and then adjust the softness with vodka. If I get it wrong, I'll thaw it out, add more vodka and then refreeze.

PS: I am a guy.

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I've never understood the vodka thing although I've seen it in some Spanish recipes.

Is it supposed to be the "stabilizer"?

If you get the balance right you don't need anything but syrup, fruit and maybe acid or water.

That's it.

2317/5000

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The sorbet that I made yesterday I let it sit in the freezer over night and I tried it out and it came out very awesome. I did weigh my sugar and water, I didn't have any eggs on hand to try it out. I'm starting to understand the whole egg thing I just want to try it out, that's all. Also I'm sure that the syrup density meter is probably the most successful way to check the bounancy in the syrup so when I get a chance I'll get and play around with it. Thanks ya'll

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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alcohol helps them separate, or use something called dextrose if you can get it. or try churning a little more than normal.

other than that could you not just re-churn it when it starts to split, because if your happy with the taste then dont change anything, this way you`ll have fresh churned sorbet.

i cook, i sleep, i ride.

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alcohol helps them separate, or use something called dextrose if you can get it. or try churning a little more than normal.

    other than that could you not just re-churn it when it starts to split, because if your happy with the taste then dont change anything, this way you`ll have fresh churned sorbet.

Dextrose would probably work and re-churning might work as well but my concern would be that if you keep re-churning your sorbet over and over it might break down in way that the sugar crystals might multiply instead of becoming minumal like what you would want for a sorbet. I don't know if this true or not I'm no expert.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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I've never understood the vodka thing although I've seen it in some Spanish recipes.

Is it supposed to be the "stabilizer"?

If you get the balance right you don't need anything but syrup, fruit and maybe acid or water.

That's it.

Vodka, in small doses, alters the texture without altering the flavor. For some sorbets, a pure sugar version has the right balance of sweetness. For others, sugar + some lemon juice can get you there. But if I'm making something with a slight savory component to it, a little bit of vodka can go a long way to cutting the candy taste.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 4 years later...

I make lots of sorbets. I use a simple syrup base and a refractometer to ensure proper levels of sugar. Lately, I've run into a problem that has me flummoxed.

Occasionally, my sorbets develop a rock-hard sugar crust in the freezer. It sometimes starts as round areas, other times in long narrow streaks. These then have to pried off to get to the sorbet beneath.

The problem seems unrelated to batches of simple syrup or to the time they've sat in the freezer. My batches of sorbets are small and they don't sit long. I have wondered if they might be caused when my staff dips the scoop in water before scooping, but if tat were the cause the problem would be more widespread than it is.

Have you encountered this problem or, better yet, solved it?

Barb

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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