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Jul 30, 2008 02:31 AM

altering sorbet texture

Hi guys,

I make prickly pear and passionfruit sorbet, but the texture is too icy and freezes rock-hard.

I am following all the instructions on my churner (freezing the canister for over 24 hours, and refrigerating the sorbet liquid overnight before churning).

I do not want to add more sugar, as it is the perfect level sweetness as is (I do add a little bit of sugar to the fruit, but it's very little, since they're already pretty sweet).

What option does that leave me? Alcohol? This is supposed to be a 'healthy' option at a rehearsal dinner.... My mother mentioned adding egg whites to the mix. Has anyone tried this?


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  1. Unless you serve it straight from the ice cream maker, this method is going to produce a rock hard result. Have you tried softening it a bit for a few seconds (depends on the mass) in the microwave? It can have an impact on the texture, so be cautious.

    The other suggestion that occurs to me is instead of making it as a sorbet, try it as a granita. If you're not familiar with it, there are lots of recipes on the web, but basically you put it in a large baking dish, partially freeze it, scrape it into tiny ice crystals with a fork, then repeat a couple of times, or until you're happy with the grain of the texture.

    If you want to make the dessert ahead of time with little fuss at serving, I think the granita may be more what you're looking for. Good luck!

    1. A small amount of alcohol would make it freeze somewhat more slowly and form smaller ice crystals, producing a finer texture.

      1. I realize this isn't practical, but the silkiest, smoothest sorbet I've ever eaten was frozen using liquid nitrogen. Very simple: just make your sorbet mixture, then pour in liquid nitrogen and stir.

        No, I'm not suggesting you actually do this.

        1. Use simple syrup & a little light corn syrup. The texture will be smooth & almost ice cream like.

          1. Sounds like the churner didn't move the sorbet mixture around enough during freezing. Large crystals only form with a lack of movement, so keep that churner churning. Is this a mechanical or hand churner, or an ice cream machine? Sounds like the sorbet sat too long between cranks. Keep the sorbet mass moving around continually till it looks like sorbet. Finish freezing in the freezer.

            A good idea is to use a sugar syrup (not simple syrup) with a good deal of acid (lemon juice, lime juice) as your sweetner. The sugar syrup with the acid becomes an invert sugar syrup and creates finer cystals. You may have had too much water also.