Choose your ice cream maker
An ice cream maker is a utensil composed of a container and a turbine that lowers the temperature of ice cream and prevents the formation of crystals. You make up your mix and place it in the ice cream maker to obtain ice cream very quickly (in less than an hour). The mixture needs to be cold before it is put in the ice cream maker, otherwise it won't freeze well.
There are 3 types of ice cream/sorbet makers out there, with different levels of sophistication:
Basic ice cream maker
Has a turbine and a container which you place in the freezer in direct contact with the wall.
From around £15
Accumulation ice cream maker
Works with cold discs that are placed in the freezer beforehand. Once the disc is frozen (18 to 24 hours), you place it in the bottom of the ice cream maker. The cold will spread when the turbine runs.
From around £35
Autonomous ice cream maker
Has its own refrigeration system.
From around £100.
Make sure you get the right size container! Choose a 1 litre/ 1.5 litre container, minimum, or else you won’t be able to make enough sorbet to go round!
Don't have an ice cream maker? The good news is you can still make sorbets. It takes longer but the results are just as good!
The technique changes slightly according to whether you use an ice cream maker or not. Always use a generous quantity of mixed fruit with seeds or pips removed.
With an ice cream maker 500g fruit (with the seeds and pips removed), juice of ½ lemon, 100g sugar and 250ml water.
Make a syrup by bringing the water and sugar to the boil, letting it simmer for 1 minute and then letting it cool completely. Mix the fruit with the lemon juice, add the cold syrup and pour into the machine.
without an ice cream maker 500g fruit (without seeds or pips), the juice of ½ lemon, 100g sugar and 1 egg white. Mix the fruit with the lemon juice, mix with the sugar and place in the freezer. When cold, take the mixture out of the freezer and mix slowly with the egg white until you get the foamy texture of sorbet, then return to the freezer.
You can make sorbets with all sorts of fruit (and vegetables) and create original flavours. Mix up different combinations of fruit, and why not add try adding spices, herbs (strawberry and basil, for example), flavoured syrups, etc?
Hints and tips
To make sure that your sorbet softens, use ice cream stabiliser. Many ready-to-use mixtures exist and are available in supermarkets, or you can also use ingredients that are easy to store in your cupboards. For very creamy ice cream, try adding:
- a tablespoonful of corn flour, starch or pastry cream, added at the end of cooking
- 2 egg whites. Add the first egg white to the mixture in the machine, whisk in with a fork and add the second.