How To Make Sorbet
The fourth in a series on ice creams, custards and sorbets
Jim Berman CCI
Sorbet is little more than sweet water and fruit purée or juice. Therein the simplicity holds vast complexity; just a few ingredients work harmoniously to unfold into clean flavors. No dairy and little air worked into the base bears a sweet invention that is bright, often subtle and bracing.
Using the Lello Musso Pola 5030 Dessert Maker, the sorbet goes from raw ingredients to finished product in less than half of an hour. The following is a classic sorbet, combining lemon and basil that is woven together to taste like frozen sunshine; sweet, sour, verdant and colorful across the palette.
4 cups, water
4 cups, granulated sugar
1 ½ cups, fresh basil leaves
2 cups, fresh squeezed lemon juice (don’t you even think about using that reconstituted stuff!)
1 Tablespoon, lemon zest (the yellow outer surface of the lemon, less the white pith that lies beneath.)
½ Tablespoon, very, very finely cut chiffonade cross-cut to squares (not mulched!) fresh basil
In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar together to a rolling boil to create simple syrup. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat when sugar appears dissolved. Stir the basil leaves. Pour the syrup/basil mixture into a 2-quart bowl. Set the bowl into a 4-quart bowl filled with ice and water to chill the mixture. When chilled, strain to remove the basil. Pour strained syrup, lemon juice and zest into dessert maker. The Lello Musso Pola runs about 20-25 minutes to reach a set state. Fold in the cut basil and set in a freezer to set.
There are myriad ways to create sorbet. Fruit juices, purées, liqueurs and extracts can all be part of the frozen invention. The flavors should be vibrant and speak eloquently in a clear, crisp voice.