Tis the season of frozen goodies - ice cream, sorbets, sherbet (or sherbert), granita and gelato's. Which is your favorite, or do you love all of them? What's your favorite flavors?
Well it's time to take out that ice cream maker you received as a shower gift and put it to good use. This is such a fun project to do with your kids.
Ice cream starts off with a custard base of milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. Starting with a cooled mixture of these ingredients and churning as it cools even further incorporates air into the ice cream to give the end product a smooth, creamy light texture.
Gelato (an Italian ice cream) starts with a similar ice cream base, but it is churned slower and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature which gives Gelato more denseness.
Sorbet on the other hand is dairy free and egg free. Simply made from fruit juices, simple syrup (water and sugar) and churned like ice cream gives it a soft and snowy texture. The more you process the fruit in a blender the smoother it will be. If you like more texture, process for less time.
Sherbet contains not only fruit juice but some amount of milk or cream.
Granita is exactly like sorbet (free of dairy and eggs), but its liquid base is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At certain intervals the base is raked with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. The resulting dessert has a coarse and flaky texture.
But for this, we will be making SORBET. All fruit, well with the exception of a tad of vodka. The vodka won't freeze but it does give the sorbet a smoother and less grainy texture. Adding some alcohol prevents the sorbet from being just a hunk of fruit flavored ice.
For a larger family, double the recipe. I used strawberries because they were on sale for $2.00 for a one pound container. The remainder might go toward making strawberry ice cream for for shortcakes.
- 2 cups soft fruit
- 1/2 cup sugar plus more as needed
- 1 tbsp. vodka
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice as needed
- water as needed
- In a blender, puree 2 cups of soft fruit. You can use berries, mangoes, melon (any kind) or peaches. To the berries add some water to thin as needed. (½ cup water tops)
- Taste the mixture then add 1 tbsp. vodka and 2 tbsp. lemon juice if needed for acidity.
- Blend in the sugar until dissolved. Taste to see if you need to add a bit more. Add 1/4 cup at a time until you have the sweetness you desire.
- Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Let firm in the freezer a couple of hours before serving.