With sweltering waves of heat taking over the country, we’re all on the lookout for some delicious refreshments to give us some respite. Some cool, icy drinks are always a good choice, but ice cream in its many forms is a crowd-pleasing favorite, especially with the kids! But eating that sugar-laced stuff on a regular basis can get a bit much so here I’m going to show you how you can make some fruity, icy sorbet that not only tastes good but also is (almost) sugar-free.
First off, you need to make a tough decision: Which fruit would you want to make a sorbet out of? The first-ever time I made mine, I used some honeydew melon which was so sweet from the get-go that no additional sugar was needed. You need to consider that once the fruit gets colder the sweetness will not be as recognizable when it is consumed at room temperature, which is also the reason why warm coke tastes so terrible! But this time around, considering that I still have quite a few sour cherries left from last year in the freezer, I decided to make use of them and turn them into sorbet, though they need a bit of help in the sweetness department. And for that, we’ll prepare a syrup.
For some sweet syrup you’ll need:
Mix the sugar into the water and start to boil it. Once you start to see the mixture bubble up and boil, lower the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes. After turning it off, stir in the lemon juice and let the whole thing cool off.
Now it's time to get the fruit of your choice and mash it into the best and thinnest mush you can! With fruits such as melon, it should be fairly easy with a fork, but for the cherries, I got my blender out because I was too impatient.
It's best to periodically taste your mush/mix from time to time to see if the fruit needs any additional sugar. If yes, you can add some syrup - how much or how little is totally up to you. Just make sure to give it a good mix after adding it. Before you put it into the freezer, check the taste again to see if the sweetness is right. If you go overboard with the syrup just add more fruit. If it is still not sweet enough, slowly add more of the syrup.
Pour this fruity mixture into a broad dish that you can place into your freezer evenly. I’m using a glass baking tin which gets filled to about 3 centimeters high. Try to have the fruity mixture wide and relatively thin so that it can freeze faster.
Put this mixture into the freezer for about two hours. Though not any longer! Once it is out you’ll see that the mixture has started to freeze all around the edges while the middle part is still quite liquidy. This is when you take out your trusty fork and get to mashing, again. You'll need to break up all the frozen bits into small pieces and mix it all around so that the cold is distributed evenly.
Now comes the time-consuming part. Off the mashed-up mix goes into the freezer again for 30 minutes. The mixture will start to get more solid overall but again run your fork through it as thoroughly as possible and even it out before you pop it back in for another round of cooling. Make sure you don’t have chunks peeking out, they will freeze ahead and turn into solid blocks of ice.
Continue doing this step – 30 minutes in the freezer, some mashing, evening out and into the freezer again – for about four more times. I found watching some series while doing this was the best way to both gauge the time and make that waiting around time past faster. You’ll see that even though the mixture has spent so much time in the freezer in total, it is still malleable – and that's exactly how we want it to be. After the last mashing, put the sorbet into the freezer for one last hour, mush and mix, and either serve it or transfer it into a freezer-friendly container or cover it up to eat some other time.
Before serving, I like to let it rest for 5 minutes instead of trying to serve it immediately after taking it out of the freezer. This makes the scooping and sharing it out much easier. Once I arrange the cups, I toss them into the freezer again if I am not going to serve them immediately.
I chose to use only one kind of fruit with my sorbets but, of course, you can use two or more varieties or mix them up as much as you like!
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