Simple summer sorbets

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Nothing cools down a hot, summer day like a bowl of cool, refreshing sorbet. No longer reserved for cleansing palates in fancy restaurants, sorbets have gone mainstream as cooks – even beginners – have discovered how simple they are to prepare.

Nothing cools down a hot, summer day like a bowl of cool, refreshing sorbet. No longer reserved for cleansing palates in fancy restaurants, sorbets have gone mainstream as cooks – even beginners – have discovered how simple they are to prepare.

Sorbets are made with two basic components, a simple syrup, a combination of equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar melts; and pureed fruit or fruit juice. Additional ingredients like chocolate, fresh herbs or even spices can be thrown into the mix, but simple syrup and fruit are all that are required for a basic sorbet. The lack of milk, cream or eggs, the cornerstones on which ice creams are built, keeps sorbets lower in calories and fat free.

Tips to keep in mind when making sorbet

  1. Chill your simple syrups before adding them to the other ingredients. Adding a warm mixture to your ice cream maker will slow down or even prevent the sorbet from thickening in the machine.

  2. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can still make sorbet. Pour your sorbet into a freezer-safe, airtight container and pop it in your freezer. (Chill the container before you add the sorbet, if you have time.) Check back every 45 minutes or so and use a spoon to stir the frozen edges into the rest of the sorbet. This will keep your sorbet from freezing into one big, frozen block of yum.

  3. Taste; taste; taste and adjust your sorbet’s flavor to suit your taste. If you prefer a jaw-locking tartness, add lemon or lime juice. Increase the amount of simple syrup for a sweeter sorbet.

  4. Be adventurous! Once you have the process down, don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite flavor combinations both sweet and savory.

Strawberry Lemon Sorbet

Makes 1 quart

If you’re looking for an adventure in tartness, this sorbet will fit the bill. The strawberry daiquiri mix gives it an intense strawberry flavor that combines with the lemon for a truly sweet and sour treat.

Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup strawberry daiquiri mix
  • ¾ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound strawberries, stems removed, quartered

Directions:
  1. Boil water and sugar together in a small saucepot over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Cool to room temperature
  2. Combine strawberry daiquiri mix, lemon juice and strawberries in blender and puree until smooth
  3. Add cooled sugar-water mixture and blend just until mixed, about 10 seconds
  4. Pour into ice cream machine and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes
  5. Place in freezer safe container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours

Passion Fruit Sorbet

Makes 1 quart

Note: Add a pinch of ground cardamom to this sorbet for a more complex flavor.

Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup passion fruit concentrate
  • 2 cups mango cubes

Directions:
  1. Boil water and sugar together in a small saucepot over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
  2. Combine passion fruit concentrate and mango in blender and puree until smooth
  3. Add cooled sugar-water mixture and blend just until mixed, about 10 seconds
  4. Pour into ice cream machine and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes
  5. Place in freezer safe container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours

Blackberry Lime Sorbet

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:
  1. Boil water and sugar together in a small saucepot over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Cool to room temperature
  2. Combine blueberries and lime juice in blender and puree until smooth
  3. Add cooled sugar-water mixture and blend just until mixed, about 10 seconds
  4. Pour into ice cream machine and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes
  5. Place in freezer safe container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours

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