How to make Sorbets

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22 Responses

  1. Jenni says:

    First of all, Ice Cream Nation is an Excellent name!! Glad you found my explanation of the egg test clear and useful, and thank you for stopping by my place to check it out. 🙂

    • Anders says:

      Dear Jenni – thank you for your kind words, and keep up the good work at Pastry Chef Online:-)

  2. marjan says:

    Hi
    Thanks for your article.
    Can you help me find an article about “application invert syrup in compote or water juice”?
    Thank you

  3. Susan says:

    Hello Anders! I’m so glad to have found you. I’m really trying to get better at sorbets since I have lots of requests for them …even though my company is called ICE CREAM Anarchy..alas! I’ve been quite successful at making fruit based sorbets .. I’ve used the egg test and it works! I would like to understand the ratios of sugar to water with NO fruit pulp component .. for example an herb diffusion or coffee or beer! Any hints? Thanks so much. Susan

    • Anders says:

      Hello Susan!

      The ratio of sugar to water is partly a matter of consistency and texture (getting the sorbet structure right, which should be a kind of minimum requirement), and partly a matter of taste (how sweet you want the overall sorbet to be, flavour-wise). Between these two, there is obviously some scope for experiments and personal preferences.

      When fine-tuning things, you would have to consider what – and how much of it – you are putting into the sorbet (sweet fruit?, acidic fruit? extra liquids? solids and stabilising/structure-building ingredients other than sugar?). With regard to the ratio, however, it is important to remember that the overall sweetness of the sorbet base may well remain about the same. The sugar to water ratio, however, might differ when it comes to preparing the simple sugar syrup! Exactly how depends – again – a bit on the flavour and on the other ingredients.

      But generally speaking, the two goals you aim for are these:
      (1) getting a nice enough sorbet structure (typically requiring a certain minimum overall level of sugar), and then
      (2) a sensation of sweetness that matches your desire for the flavour (depending on the flavour)

      For dessert sorbets, and in refractometer-terms, we would traditionally be looking to find an ideal, overall sweetness level somewhere within the range of about 25° to 30° Brix.

      My suggestion, in case you do not want to go down the refractometer-route, is to continue with the egg test as the guiding star. That should typically ensure a nice enough sorbet structure. Then, using your personal preferences, you could check and see whether your particular ingredient(s) may require some more (or less) sugar in order to come across the way you want them to.

      Best of luck with your experiments!

  4. cyndy says:

    I’m hoping you can help me. I recently was at a restaurant in Atlantic city nj. I had oysters on 1/2 shell and they were served with a jalepeno sorbet for topping. it was out of this world. it was like shaved ice crystals. I tried making at home with a recipe I found on line, used my ice cream/sorbet maker. it was rather easy to make but it came out creamy like sherbet. wanted it like shaved ice, did I do something wrong? please help !

    • Anders says:

      Dear Cyndy,

      I would wager that what you had was not strictly sorbet, but rather granita (which, strictly speaking, is shaved ice).

      Think of granita as a flavoured, slightly sweetened (roughly, count with about 1/3 of sugar to the water used) mix of water which you leave to freeze in your freezer. Checking in on the liquid after about 30 minutes, you then start to scrape off crystals from the block of ice in the process of being formed, using a fork. Continue the freeezing/scraping until done. You won’t need any ice cream machine to make it. As of now, there are unfortunately no granita-recipes on this website but until such a time (it is on my list of future posts to write …), I hope this at least might give you some more guidance. And best of luck with re-creating that jalapeno granita (sounded delicious) 🙂

      • cyndy says:

        thank you for your insight, i’ll definetly give it a try. and it was so delicious, do try. 🙂

      • GHOSTPANTS says:

        i’d love to hear your follow-up to this if you’ve experimented. i ordered a refractometer for my bunn ultra 1 and will be experimenting on my drinks shortly. a baseline would be really helpful. feel free to email. 🙂

  5. pizzarossa says:

    I’m a bit confused about the simple syrup ratio. You said “65% sugar to 35% water” but then you gave the quantities as “500 ml (2 cups) water and 300 ml (1.3 cup) sugar”, which is pretty much the reverse! Could you please clarify which one is correct?

  6. Dodo246 says:

    It looks so good!!!!!!
    But I haven’t tried the recipe yet 😉
    It definitely helped my sister calm down though.
    (she LOVES her icecream and popsicles)

  7. sherif says:

    I mixed ice cream powder 500 gm with milk 1000ml and when they freeze they become soooo hard and sticky ….what is the probem???

    • Anders says:

      Dear Sherif,
      There are so many ice cream powders out there, so I have absolutely no idea. Perhaps you could try to ask the manufacturer?

  8. Thomas says:

    As I see it, there is quite a way from 30-31 brix to the recipe suggestions of 65% sucrose / 35% water or even 50-50 sugar-water mix. These would, in my book, give 65 brix and 50 brix

    Or am I misunderstanding something?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for your pertinent comment! Re-reading the text, I realised that it well could have invited confusion: The “ideal Brix” refers (only) to the overall sugar content of the sorbet, and not to the sugar content of the simple sugar syrup recipes given in the post. I have reworked the text for added clarity, and hope that this now should be clearer 🙂

  9. Barry says:

    Hi Anders, love your article! Have been making sorbet for years and have always struggled with lemon in particular. This has been really frustrating given my tree produces close to 300 a year. I just purchased a hydrometer and can’t wait to give it a try with the perfect concentration of sugar.

    • Anders says:

      Hi Barry,

      Thanks for your kind words, and best of luck in your quest for the perfectly balanced (lemon) sorbet 🙂
      Personally, I remain very fond of the good ol’ Egg Test, but there is no denying that a hydrometer is even more exact (and arguably less messy).

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