Somehow, Sorbet reminds me of my childhood vacation days with my cousins. The multi-coloured ice creams sold in wagons by the '"Ice-cream Walaas"" on Indian streets is such an inviting act of indulgence for a child. And we were no different. Most of these coloured popsicles were made of (God Only Knows) fresh water ( I assume), artificial flavour and edible food colours. The moment we hear the Ice cream Waala ringing the bell, myself and my cousins would rush to stop him. We would pick and pester a chosen elder of our household to buy ice creams for us. The fun and excitement lied after eating the ice cream. We would all stick out our tongues to check who has a deeper deposit of colour on us and we were so proud of our achievement. I wish I could live those childhood days again.
Sorbets are fruit based desserts made of frozen fruit juice or purees. It is a non fat and a low fat alternative to the regular ice cream which is incorporated with air and dairy products. This difference makes a Sorbet more original in flavour in comparison with ice cream. Commercially sold Sorbets may contain traces of alcohol. This addition is done to lower the freezing temperature resulting in a smooth crystalline structure and also to improve the mouth feel of the end product.
Frozen desserts are said to have been brought from France, yet the history of Sorbet is not quite clear. Some sources say that Sorbets have originated from China in the late 13th century - sourced from Travels of Marco Polo. Another version of the folklore is that King Nero invented Sorbet. A similar kind of dessert named Granita is served in Italy and supposedly contains egg white in addition to the other ingredients.
I was inspired to try this recipe after I got hold of an Ice cream making manual at the Singapore Library. I don t remember the name of the book as I was so immersed ogling at the delicious pictures. Pardon me and read on........
Cara -Cara Oranges ................................. 5 Nos ( gave 500 ml of juice)
White Sugar ............................................ 3 tbsp
Water ..................................................... 1/4 cup
- Add the sugar and water to a thick bottomed vessel and heat it. Continue to do so until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup is warm. Keep aside.
- Express juice from the oranges using a citrus press.
- I have an electrical citrus press that I purchased ages before and it is one of my precious possessions.
- Transfer the content to a juice blender.
- Pour the warm sugar syrup into the juice and pulse the mixture few times to blend well.
- Transfer the juice to a freezer safe box and freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Remove from freezer and mix the frozen contents well using an egg beater or alternatively run it again using a blender and re-freeze for 4 to 6 hours. Repeat the process again for a smoother Sorbet.
- Remove and scoop out some into any serving bowl you fancy . I used the Orange peels.
- Beating/ Blending the frozen mixture is to reduce the size of the water molecules in the dessert. Because, pure water has a sharp freezing point and freezes into large sized molecules and ends up becoming a runny dessert very soon.
- I have not used alcohol or egg whites in my dessert so I repeated the blending process twice for a better texture.
- Adjust the sugar quantity depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Since the lot I picked were really sweet, it did not require much sugar. According to me, Cara- cara Oranges are the most sweet and the edible portion is a beautiful deep orange desirable for Sorbet. You could also use Blood Oranges for an intense colour.
- Actually you can store the sorbet for several days and enjoy -unless you are one of those who succumbs for cravings.