Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making sorbet

I really like to cook, especially when those eating my food are my family and friends.  While mom was in town, hubby asked if I would make some raspberry sorbet.  Of course, I said I would and mom thought that it would be a great photo opportunity.  It was funny making sorbet with another person at home because I don't think about the recipe any more, I just make the sorbet.  As mom asked questions about each step, it became readily apparent that I know how to do something that most people do not.  I think that many people would rather buy their frozen desserts (sorbet, ice cream, etc...) from the grocery store, not necessarily because it's cheaper, but because they probably don't know how to make it.

Cooking the berries (Credit: SuddenlySusan)
I'll tell you what though, sorbet is one of the easiest frozen deserts to make.  When I make sorbet, I start by making a simple syrup.  Simple syrup really is as simple as the name implies.  All you need is a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar.  You bring it to a boil for one minute and that's it.  For berry sorbet, I add the fruit to the simple syrup and bring it back up to a boil.  I let it cook until the fruit is pretty much dissolved or broken down to the point of very small chunks.  Then I strain the berry mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate the mixture until is super cold (this takes a couple of hours).  Finally, I run the mix in my ice cream maker according to the manufacture's directions.  In my ice cream maker it takes approximately 25 minutes to go from liquid to soft serve.  If I want a harder sorbet -- and I usually do -- I freeze it for a couple more hours.  In all, it takes about eight hours to go from berries to sorbet, but so much of that time is inactive that it seems really quick.

Straining the mixture (Credit: SuddenlySusan)
I started making sorbet as a healthier, and more cost effective, alternative to store-bought dairy-free ice cream.  A pint of dairy-free ice cream tends to cost upwards of $5 (and sometimes more).  On the other hand, I can make a quart of fresh berry sorbet for about $3 and have the added benefit of knowing exactly what ingredients were included in the sorbet.

I have tried making dairy-free ice cream at home with little success, but I'll keep trying until I've finally figured out what tastes good.  Until then, various fruit sorbets will have to do.

What do you know how to do that others might not?


  1. That batch made a lot of sorbet! I'm strongly considering buying an ice cream maker. I loved the smell of the berries cooking and the anticipation of tasting it when it was finally ready to eat. I was not disappointed! Hmm, not sure if I know how to make something others don't. I'll have to think about that today.

    1. Just don't be afraid of screwing it up. Hubby can tell you about all of the times I failed at delivering something yummy from our ice cream machine. Luckily, I have berry sorbet down to a science.

  2. Not sure if I know how to do something others dont but I do stuff others dont do now. I have a freezer full of jam and vegies..shelves full of jam fruit and all kinds of relish and pickled stuff ( green beens, aspargus and more ) might even pickle Jim some day. the neighbot told him to stear clear of the kitchen or he would be soon.