It’s hot and humid here in Barcelona. Really it’s a wonder anyone can bake so it’s time to make delicious ice-cold sorbets. Hurray! And it’s all in preparation for a traditional French mystery frozen cake, which I’ll reveal to you in a few days depending on how fast I can bake or think in this heat… lol. And what is a sorbet? It’s a frozen dessert made from fruit purée and sugar but unlike ice-cream it has no added cream, milk or egg yolks. We’ll have a look at the importance of frozen desserts in French pâtisserie and in the USA later. First here’s an easy raspberry sorbet recipe for you, made with raspberry purée, a little lemon juice and sugar syrup with some liquid glucose. You’ll need an ice-cream machine but there are plenty of small cheap ones on the market. Then in about an hour you can sit back on your deck chair or lie in your hammock and enjoy some delicious soft sorbet, a raspberry taste explosion to cool you down. Bliss…
This recipe is based on sorbet à la framboise on the Meilleur du Chef website, with some reduced and adapted quantities. And instead of using shop-bought raspberry purée I made my own with a little lemon juice and sugar. Apparently you can vary the amount of sugar in this sorbet according to taste and the sweetness of your raspberries but be careful. An appropriate quantity of sugar is essential for the structure. Along with the liquid glucose it’s a natural anti-freeze that prevents crystals and keeps this sorbet creamier.
Methods and sugar syrups
The Science of the Best Sorbet is an interesting article by Max Falkowitz on how to make sorbet and the various factors to consider. Now the writer is not keen on the sugar syrup method I have used, stating it’s often adopted simply because it’s the traditional way to make sorbet. But mine turned out delicious so for now I’m sticking to this recipe. It’s just as it should be: not too sweet or acidic, not too watery or frozen stiff and just creamy enough. And oh the intense raspberry flavour…
Mr Falkowitz does agree that sugar syrups help create a beautiful consistency and he uses corn syrup, suggesting glucose and invert sugar as alternatives. I would guess honey might work too.
Extra tips and troubleshooting
Max Falkowitz offers tips on using alcohol, different fruit and troubleshooting so you might like to refer to his article. He also repeats that your fruit should be the best quality possible – excellent advice!
So let’s make some yummy sorbet! 🙂
An ice-cream maker. I used the Kenwood IM200 1.1L ice-cream maker, small and cheap with great reviews. Apparently you should be careful to switch it on before using and to not interrupt by switching off and on during the process, but it produces delicious ice-cream.
The quantities below make 300g (10 and 1/2 ounces), exactly what I need for the mystery cake. Double would be lovely too and the quantities for 600g are further down.
- Syrup (makes about 130g)
- 60g/4 tablespoons caster/superfine sugar
- 20g/2 teaspoons liquid glucose
- 70g/ml mineral water
- Purée (makes about 200g/ml after passing through a sieve)
- 250g/8.8oz washed or frozen raspberries
- 25g/5 teaspoons caster/superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon/15g freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Double quantity (600g/21oz):
- 120g/1/2 cup caster/superfine sugar
- 40g/4 teaspoons liquid glucose
- 140g/ml mineral water
- Purée (makes about 200g/ml once passed through a sieve)
- 500g/17.5oz washed or frozen raspberries
- 50g/1/5 cup caster/superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoon/30g freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Eating and storing your sorbet
You can eat your sorbet immediately or place in the freezer to reach a desired consistency. Store in the freezer and eat within a week, when it’ll still be in peak condition.
The importance of being frozen
In France les glaces (ice-cream) is a whole discipline within the world of pâtisserie. I realised this when our instructor at the Cordon Bleu cooking school presented a session on ices. This was the school’s rising star Nicolas Jordan, a MOF (un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France – ‘one of the best craftsman in France’) proud to wear his MOF collar with its blue and red stripes. He told us he achieved this by excelling in the ice and ice-cream category! There are some articles if you’d like to read more here and here. And though we’re not making ice-cream sculptures like Mr Jordan, you could feel new respect for simple but delicious ices like this raspberry sorbet.
In the USA the importance of ice-cream has also been acknowledged, by no less than President Ronald Reagan who in 1984 signed a resolution (later signed into public law) proclaiming the month of July as ‘National Ice Cream Month’. July 15th became ‘National Ice Cream Day’, now celebrated on the third Sunday of every July (on July 17 this year). These yearly celebrations are still going, with ice-cream manufacturers publicizing the events.
So there you go… what better excuse to make ice-creams and sorbets? Not to mention the fact they’re naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free! So I’ll share this sorbet with this week’s Free from Fridays hosted by Emma@Freefromfarmhouse. Have a look, she has some fruity recipes too!
Ices are of course also perfect for coping with the heat but if you’re living in a country where the sun keeps disappearing, have some of this delicious raspberry sorbet to cheer yourself up. Close your eyes and imagine you’re in paradise.
Farewell sweet reader! Wishing you a lovely week at just the right temperature. Have fun baking, no-baking and eating! And a happy ice-cream month of course. 🙂 Lili x