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~ My Silky-Smooth Spiced Apple-Pear Puree Sorbet (+ the best tip EVER for perfect sorbet all the time)! ~

IMG_5609Did you know that high-quality, applesauce (homemade or store-bought) makes luxurious, creamy, dreamy sorbet in about 25-30 minutes?  Well, I didn't quite believe it either until I decided to give it a try last year.  I was having one of my smallest crowds ever for Thanksgiving, a group of six for a sit-down dinner.  I especially love small, intimate dinner parties because it gives me the opportunity to "fuss" ("pull out all the stops"), and this includes an intermezzo to freshen/cleanse the palate -- usually a small scoop of homemade sorbet or granita:

Served properly, in small chilled ramekins with chilled spoons!

IMG_5651As I was pondering what type of fruit sorbet I wanted to make, I looked the many containers of ~ Simply Silky & Smooth Spiced Apple-Pear Puree ~ in my freezer.  You can get my recipe by clicking on the Related Article link below.  Under normal circumstances,  I serve it as a side-dish at my annual Turkey Day buffet feast (for 20-24 people).  Thoughts of apple-pear puree sorbet IMG_5019began churning around in my head. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made.  After all, the best fruit sorbets, the ones that are really creamy and smooth, always contain, besides a goodly amount of sugar, pectin, which is found primarily in apples, apricots and citrus fruits.  This is why citrus juice if often added to most berry sorbets. Since my puree is full of apples and oranges, theoretically all it needed was a bit more sugar!

A bit about pectin:  Pectin is the fiber found in the walls and skin of fruits and plants.  It, in combination with sugar, is a natural thickener and food stabilizer, which is why it is commonly used in the making of  jams and jellies.  All plants contain some amount of pectin with apples (primarily Granny Smith and McIntosh varieties), apricots (and its cousin the peach a close second) and citrus (primarily grapefruit and oranges) containing the highest concentrations.

Making My Apple-Pear Puree Sorbet:

IMG_55221 1/2  cups ~ My Simply Silky & Smooth Spiced Apple-Pear Puree ~, chilled (high-quality, smooth, not chunky-style applesauce may be substituted)*

6 tablespoons orange juice, chilled

6  tablespoons sugar

* Note:  My puree is beautifully spiced with cinnamon and cloves.  If you are using applesauce, consider bringing up the flavor a bit by adding some cinnamon and a pinch of cloves.  Nutmeg and vanilla work nicely too.

IMG_5531 IMG_5538 IMG_5544~ Step 1.  In a 2-cup container, combine puree, juice and sugar.  Wait 5 minutes, to give sugar time to dissolve and stir again.

The best tip you're ever gonna get for making sorbet:

A bit about sorbet (sore-BAY):  Sorbet is the French word for "sherbet".  Italians call it "sorbetto". Sorbet differs from ice cream or gelato in that it contains no milk or dairy products.  Sherbet on the other hand, sometimes does contain milk, egg whites or gelatin.  Culinarily, sorbet is thinner than sherbet and not as granular as other ices or granita, but, nowadays, not too many people split hairs over the fine details.  Sorbet is either served in small amounts, 2-3 teaspoonfuls, as a palate cleanser/refresher (intermezzo) between courses at a meal, or in a larger quantity as a light dessert.  The beautiful, silky texture of sorbet is at its best when freshly made and still soft.  It should not be rock hard or full of ice crystals.  When I make it a few hours in advance, I keep it frozen in my machine (which has a chilling switch), until 15-20 minutes prior to serving, when I turn it off and let it soften to the right texture, at which time it must be served immediately.

IMG_5562About 17-18 years ago I invested in a rather expensive, Italian-made, Simac gelato machine, bought several cookbooks dedicated to frozen desserts and even took a class.  This is a very substantial piece of equipment with its own freezing mechanism.  Once I prepare my ingredients, it does everything short of scooping out the finished product for me.  I won't lie, I love this machine and it has a place of honor on my kitchen counter (right next to my freezer).  I can, however, state that it is all about the right recipe, not the machine, so whatever device you are using, just PLEASE follow the manufacturer's instructions and proceed! 

Sorbet is technically a simple mixture of pureed fruit, sugar and water. Chilling it, then churning it in an ice-cream maker is theoretically all you need to do to produce sorbet.  Not so fast.  You need to make sure you have the right ratio of sugar to water in the fruit puree to keep it from turning into ice crystals.  Without getting too scientific, sugar increases the density of liquid and water decreases the density.  So how in the wild world of culinary sports do you test for that?  

Place a raw, large egg on top of the puree mixture!

IMG_5556If the egg sinks:  you need to at a bit more sugar.

If the egg floats high above the surface:  you need to add a bit more water.

If the egg sinks somewhat, but, keeps itself from drowning (a 1" or so patch showing on the surface), you've got the perfect ratio of puree, sugar, and water.

~ Step 2.  Remove the egg, rinse it off and return it to the refrigerator.  Cover the sorbet "base mixture" with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill, 1-2 hours or overnight.

IMG_5563~ Step 3.  Pour the chilled base mixture into the workbowl of the pre-chilled ice-cream maker. Notice the white coating around the inside of my workbowl?  I switched the machine on to chill for 10 minutes. IMG_5578Place the cover on workbowl and turn the machine on to churn for 25-30 minutes.

Take the lid off.  Tell me this doesn't look like perfection:

IMG_5591Go ahead, help yourself.  Take a taste of perfection:

IMG_5601My Silky-Smooth Spiced Apple-Pear Puree Sorbet (+ the best tip EVER for perfect sorbet all the time:  Recipe yields 2 cups, or, 8, 1/4 cup-size servings, or, 16, 2 tablespoon-size servings.

Special Equipment List:  2-cup measuring container; spoon; ice cream machine

IMG_4589Cook's Note:  If you are serving this sorbet as an intermezzo, you might want to consider serving everyone a slice of apple pie to end the meal. My first choice would be a ~ Dutch Apple, Sour Cream & Walnut-Streusel Pie ~.  It's the perfect complement & you can skip the ice cream.  You can find the recipe by clicking into Categories 6, 17 or 19!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)


Thanks Teresa -- this truly is decadent. Past the deliciousness of my personal recipe, this egg "trick" for whatever reasons, REALLY DOES work on all sorbet recipes. As I travel through this culinary life, I continue to be amazed!

That does look truly luscious, Mel. My tongue is dancing at the thought of the taste and texture!:P

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