This summer, I constantly craved fruity ice cream. I never actually got any at the time I was craving it, but that's okay. I read up on sorbets, and the importance of the balance between water and sugar in your sorbet, so that it isn't too icy or too sticky, but just right on all accounts. I looked around for a berry sorbet recipe I could make, but most of them called for various types of alcohol (because alcohol lowers the freezing point and keeps it from getting too icy), and since it wouldn't be cooked (and therefore burned off), I kept looking for an alcohol-free one. I finally found one from a blog called The Hungry Mouse. I substituted raspberries for the blackberries, and made it when I was visiting my parents in California (they have an ice cream maker, and I, alas, do not). The prognosis? So delicious. But very expensive to make, so I'd recommend acquiring berries from a local vine if possible (free!). But definitely make it, it's very easy and very tasty.
from the Hungry Mouse (more and more detailed pictures of each step on here)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
24 oz. fresh blackberries
2 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1. Combine sugar and water in medium-sized saucepan.
2. Set the pot on the stove over high heat. Whisk occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes, just to be sure that all the sugar is dissolved.
4. Remove the pot from the heat. Cool the mixture to room temperature, then put it in the fridge or freezer and chill it completely through.
5. When your simple syrup is completely chilled, you’re ready to make your sorbet. Grab your blackberries/raspberries/whatever and pick through them to get rid of any that are bruised or moldy or whatever.
6. Put about half of the berries in the blender and
about half of the chilled simple syrup.
7. Puree on high for about 30 seconds, or until the berries are completely liquified.
8. Strain the berry mixture.
Set a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the berry mixture through the strainer.
9. It’ll be fairly thick and there will be lots of seeds, so stir it with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to push it through.
Push the berry pulp through the strainer with your spatula to squeeze out the last of the liquid.
10. Blend and strain the remaining blackberries and simple syrup. Then pour the lemon juice into the strained mixture. Stir to combine.
11. Because you chilled the simple syrup, your mixture should still be fairly cold. Pour it into your ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hungry Mouse says for their Cuisinart model, that means processing for about 25 minutes. For whatever model my parents have, it was closer to 40.
12. As the mixture processes, it’ll get thicker.
When it’s done, it should be about the texture of soft ice cream.
13. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container. A loaf bread pan works very well.
14. Smooth out the surface. Press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface, then pinch it tight around the edges of the pan. Put into the freezer for at least few hours (ideally, overnight), until it’s completely frozen. It should be firm, but still very scoopable. If it's still soft and mooshy on the inside, like mine was, let it freeze a bit longer, unless you have hungry family members breathing down your necks, wanting their fruity frozen dessert.