Okay, let’s be honest here, lots of us (not pointing fingers) have been enjoying home made breads and cakes during our Stay At Home Adventures. Some of us might say, a bit too much. 🙂
As it is allegedly Spring and heading into Summer (I say this because, as I type this, currently it is a scootch above freezing and has been pouring rain…) fresh fruits are heading into the market.
So, how do you enjoy those succulent sweet morsels without adding on more inches? Not into making a pie or cobler? Don’t want to make jam or jelly? What if you have dietary restrictions? What do you do if you don’t have a lot of specialty equipment in your kitchen? Well, you make sorbet!
Sorbet is made from water and fruit puree or juice. It contains no milk, cream or eggs, and is one of the oldest forms of frozen desserts. Records of frozen sorbet-like desserts date back to the ancient Romans and Chinese, where they were made with snow, fresh fruit pulp and sweetened with honey.
Not to be confused with sherbet. The difference between sorbet and sherbet is mainly how much dairy they contain. Sorbet contains no dairy whatsoever, while sherbet contains a little cream or milk to give it a richer, creamier texture.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
Sorbet can be produced using very simple equipment. At the very least, you can use a potato masher or a fork or, if you have one, a blender. The food processor is also an option. No ice cream maker is needed.
You can use whatever fruits you have on hand. If they are just this side of over ripe and you aren’t sure what to do with them, this is a great option. You can also adjust the flavors any way you like. Say, for instance, you want to add a touch of mint or maybe almond. You can use extracts or, if you have the plant, chop up some mint to add to the mixture before you freeze it.
So, how do you actually do it? Simple as 1 – 2 – 3:
- Cut up the fruit.
- Freeze the fruit.
- Blend (or puree) the fruit.
Let’s start with the fruit. You will want about 3 – 3 1/2 cups of frozen fruit.
You can prep your own or use frozen fruits. Keep in mind that while the bags of fruits from the market are already in uniform sizes, their sweetness may vary depending upon when they were harvested and frozen. This really isn’t much different than fruits you pick and process on your own. Bottom line: Check the sweetness and adjust as you see fit. You can add honey to adjust if you need to.
If you are prepping your own fruit, try to get them as uniform as possible – this will help them freeze at the same rate. Speaking of freezing, a good option is to prepare the fruits and have them in the freezer overnight. If you can’t wait that long, leave them in the freezer at least 3-4 hours or until they are frozen through.
You will need to have room in your freezer for a sheet pan that you can lay the fruit on to freeze. Avoid placing the fruits on the pan in such a way as they will touch and/or clump. Clumps make processing more difficult as they won’t be easy to separate.
Method One: Using Blender or Food Processor
- Freeze the fruits.
- Put into blender or food processor along with any sweetener needed.
- Blend until smooth.
- You might need to add a little warm water and press the fruits down to process.
- Eat immediately as a soft freeze or return to the freezer for a hard freeze.
Method Two: Manual Press
- If using already frozen fruits, set them out to semi defrost. If using unfrozen fruits, cut up and add to a large bowl.
- Use a potato masher or two forks to break up the fruit into a small puree.
- Pour fruits into a freezer safe container – preferably something shallow. Freeze for about an hour.
- Remove from freezer, stir the fruits to break up ice clumps. Return to freezer. Repeat until fruit is totally frozen.
Get creative! Combine fruits to make delicious desserts. Do you already have a favorite smoothie recipe? Why not adapt it to make sorbet?
You could put the mixture into smaller containers, add Popsicle sticks and have a great cool treat for young and old alike.
What if you have chunks of really good chocolate on hand? Why not add a few to the softened mixture before you eat – or pop the mix back into the freezer? You could also add larger fruit chunks to the mix to really up your game.
Sorbets that use naturally sweet fruits have low calorie counts. They can be elegant additions to a Company Dinner or an easy luscious treat any time. They prevent food waste, which is also a plus for your budget.
Give them a try and let me know what you think!