Some may say that making sorbet is a science. I consider the process nothing less than fiction. The best sorbet is the one which is the simplest to make. The biggest trick to make sorbet is taking good quality fruit and taking things from that point onward. Sometimes a good sorbet goes bad because it gets too much icy or too much sweet or it just melts in the form of a puddle when you start scooping it out. Comparing it with ice cream, it is a bit hard to make. You have to be extra careful when it comes to making the recipe.
Like other things, sorbet also has some kind of art behind it. You can use different fruits and come up with a variety of tastes for making the sorbet. You will be able to make it creamy, flavorful, and fresh. If you do everything right, you might confuse your sorbet with ice cream.
Sorbet is free of dairy products hence it is free of fat. In its simplest form, sorbet is a combination of sugar and water, which you will churn inside an ice cream machine. Some people say that sugar is an integral part of the sorbet as it tends to sweeten it. However, that’s not true. Sugar has to play a bigger role than that. It gives the sorbet its peculiar structure. This is where sorbet becomes different from ice cream. Ice cream takes its structure or texture from a combination of items such as protein, fat, and sugar.
When you dissolve sugar in water, you get a syrup that has a very low freezing point. The sweeter your syrup is, the lower will be the freezing point, because sugar brings the freezing point down. When you freeze the liquid, you will have a bunch of tiny icy crystals in the syrup.
Use Fresh Fruit
The first rule of making a good sorbet is using good fruit. It should be the best available on the market. For example, if you want watermelon, it should be fragrant and juicy. If you need strawberries, they should be the sweetest and ripe. If you need peaches, they must be sweet and juicy. What the fruit brings to your sorbet matters much. For example, the type of fruit you are using can have a significant effect on the texture of the sorbet. If you are using fruit that is high in pectins such as grapes and berries or if you are using fruit that is high in fiber such as pears, mangoes, and banana, your sorbet will be a higher level of viscosity. It will be full of body. It will be highly creamy to the level that you might mistake it for ice cream. It is because fiber and pectin tend to act as thickeners. Their long starchy molecules work just like sugar to block the formation of icy crystals.
If you are using pomegranate or watermelon, their juices are considerably thin with nobody so they need a bit of special handling to make the textures look creamy and thick. It is trickier with citruses such as lime, lemon, and grapefruit.
Sorbet recipes often demand the use of alcohol. In some cases, it can be as low as a tablespoon. It gives texture to your sorbet. The major reason for adding alcohol to the sorbet is that it decreases the freezing point of the sorbet base and makes it softer and easier to scoop. The higher is the amount of alcohol, the softer will be the sorbet you will get until you add so much and the freezing point will be too low to freeze the mixture in a conventional freezer. The fine limit of the addition of alcohol is about five tablespoons.
Also, alcohol lowers the icy ratio of stubbornly icy mixtures. If you are making an alcoholic sorbet at home, you should add it in small quantities. You will not like to leave it out of the freezer for longer periods.
Cooking the fruit
Well, this is a personal choice. Some people cook it while others don’t. The cooking of fruit will help you concentrate on the flavor. It will also redirect water to give the sorbet a creamier texture. It will also let you include herbs and spices in the sorbet at will. You can add ginger and mint or any other spice like paprika to the mixture. Asian people do like to add black pepper and black salt in the sorbet. Black salt gives the lemon sorbet a unique flavor that nothing can match.
It is also a fact that a sorbet should smell and taste like fresh fruit and nothing else. Some fruit like cranberries, pears, and plums taste better when they are cooked. However, this is a choice.
What is the master ratio?
The master ratio works well with different fruits that have a body and some measure of viscosity such as strawberries. Thin juices like that of watermelon appear to be a challenge. You can add sucrose to these fruits. Sucrose is sweet and it also doesn’t add significantly to the syrup. That’s the reason it is used by chefs. You can use different syrups to maintain the ratio of different elements in the sorbet. You can add corn syrup which is considered highly viscous. It makes the sorbet creamier and richer. You can use it three times more than you use sucrose. This makes the sorbet creamy as well. It will also never over-sweetening the sorbet. Experts across the world recommend that you use corn syrup in lemon sorbets. You will see a visible difference in texture. Corn is starchy and it gives a distinct shape to the sorbet.
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