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Zuni cookbook plum sorbet--lovely but one question

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Now that the World Cup is over, my summer project is a different ice cream/sorbet flavor each weekend. The Zuni Cafe cookbook really touts plum sorbet as a good way to use so-so plums, which was definitely true in my case. I used small yellow plums, pureed and strained, with some of the skin reserved to mix in for tartness. I added about 4 T sugar to about 1 cup puree, a little salt, some of the skin, and froze in my ice cream maker. I'm not normally a sorbet fan, since it always seems poor, icy alternative to ice cream, but this was really refreshing and very smooth.

So my question is, any tips on how long to churn for sorbet? For ice cream, I've been careful not to overchurn. Do those same concerns exist for sorbet?

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  1. Yes, over churning sorbet will result in an icy, hard final product. When it just begins to hold a shape I would transfer it to your freezer.
    There are things you can add to ensure a smooth texture (gelatin), but if you find a good recipe and don't plan on keeping it around long, you don't need to.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabaja

      I disagree. I've found sorbets spun longer to have a much smoother consistency, not at all prone to turning icy or hard any sooner than under-spun bases.

    2. I think it really depends on the machine you are using. I was going to mention that in my first reply, but it slipped my mind.
      I have almost exclusively used professional ice cream spinners, not ones intended for home use. Anytime the sorbets were overspun, we always ended up with a hard, icy product the following morning.
      I am not saying to underspin your sorbets, but less is better than more.