Yes, I know that the weather we are having this spring is not very good to start preparing slushies and sorbets, but you already know that it can change from one day to the next and since in two days we will enter the month of June I thought it is the right time to give you several tips to succeed preparing a perfect water ice cream.
I still do not know any child whose eyes do not open wide to a delicious ice cream, and the normal thing is that that childhood passion remains latent when we become adults. You will see how once you have made your first homemade sorbet or granita you will think that no other can outperform yours in taste and texture.
Types of water ice cream
Water ice cream generally consists of a syrup flavored with juice or fruit puree, or with an essence, such as a strong coffee. The absence of any fat in the syrup makes the ice crystals that form are largeFor this reason, the ice must be beaten vigorously during the freezing time to break the crystals as they form and keep the ice cream soft.
The slush, specialty of Italian origin, is a version of the straw. In the slush ice crystals are allowed to form, and these separate, leaving the upper part slush and the lower part very soft, almost liquid. The sorbet itself is somewhat different, taking, to be softer, whipped whites, incorporated into the ice cream when it is partially frozen.
Let’s review the ice cream machines that we can find in the market And then we can forget about them, unless you plan to make large amounts of ice cream on a regular basis. Old ice cream makers consist of a wooden barrel and, inside it, a cylindrical metal container.
Shovels are put inside the inner container, with handles that protrude outside the lid. Crushed ice and rock salt are put inside the wooden barrel, outside the metal container, which is where the ice cream mix goes. Everything is covered hermetically and you begin to maneuver with the paddles as if you were rowing, until the mixture freezes and it is so hard that the blade cannot be moved.
The scoop is then removed, the ice cream is squeezed well and the wooden barrel is filled with fresh ice. Let it rest for about an hour before serving, and the ice cream will be firm and smooth. There is an electric version based on the same principle, but that eliminates manual work.
There are also ice cream makers that go into the freezer or refrigerator. They are cheaper and simpler, but have the disadvantage of the electric cable going out the fridge door (which does not close well and will eventually defrost).
Me I don’t use any of these gadgets to make ice cream. To whisk I use some metal rods, a fork or a food processor, depending on how you want the soft serve ice cream. Any ice-resistant container is used to put the mixture in it: if it is flat, the ice cream will be made before a deep one. To strain the fruit puree, I use a nylon Chinese, since if it is metallic it can flavor the fruit and affect the result of the ice cream.
Preparation of the syrup
Always use the amount of sugar recommended in the recipe to make the syrup. If you use less, the ice cream will freeze too much and it will be hard and tasteless, if you put too much, the ice cream will not freeze at all. You can use any type of white sugar, if you prefer granulated it has the advantage of being cheaper. The brown sugar of a bad color to ice cream.
To keep water ice cream soft, always dissolve the sugar in the water before adding flavorings. Put the sugar with the water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir slowly with a wooden spoon until all the sugar crystals have dissolved, then increase the heat and let it boil, without stirring, for the indicated time.
The sugar / water ratio It varies both according to the type of ice cream you make (for example a semi-liquid slushie or a very firm sorbet) and according to the amount of liquid that the flavoring contains. Some fruits have more water than others, and then you will have to put less liquid in the syrup.
Almost all sorbets are scented with the pureed pulp of a fruit or vegetable. For citrus sorbets I use only the juice, but I flavor the syrup with a bit of very thin crust. You can also use other perfumes like coffee or wine, and sometimes I put them to liven up a little alcohol, usually liquor.
There is an important rule that should not be forgotten: before freezing, the mixture it must be perfumed and sweet, because you will be surprised to see the flavor and sweetness that it loses when freezing. Save the subtle aromas for cream ice cream.
Water ice creams are better if they are made based on very aromatic fruits, like citrus fruits and gooseberries. Raspberries and strawberries also work well, as well as fall fruits, apples and pears. Some vegetables make great sorbets to serve as a starter, like carrots and tomatoes, for example, which are strong in flavor.
If you use alcohol to flavor a water ice cream, choose one that complements the perfume of the main ingredient. Be careful not to use too much, as the alcochol slows down freezing and you may have liquid left. A sweet liqueur is better with almost all frozen desserts, I really like kirsh, more than vodka or gin.
Preparation of water ice cream
Put the prepared mixture in shallow, freeze-resistant containers, such as an ice cube tray without the separations, a plum cake mold or a polythene box. Cover the surface and put the container in the freezer, about an hour. By then ice will have formed to a depth of about 2.5 cm.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and beat it with a fork or whisk to break the ice chips. Cover again and put in the freezer again for another half hour. Take it out and beat it one more time until smooth. Put it back in the freezer and repeat the operation every half hour, until it is half frozen.
If you want to make a real sorbet, now is when you should beat it incorporating whites whites, which will leave it fluffy. To do this, I use a food processor, which makes the sorbet softer. Pass the frosted foam to the robot and work until smooth, adding the whipped egg whites. Put it back in the freezer, covered, to harden.
A water ice cream or a sorbet can be kept in the freezer in a tightly closed container up to three months, but the slush should be consumed immediately, without giving it time to become a hard block.
How to serve a sorbet
Approximately an hour before servingPut the ice cream in the water in the fridge. Never serve water-based ice cream straight from the freezer, as it would be too hard and tasteless. A sorbet should be slightly broken when serving, just firm enough to hold on the spoon. The slush will be undone.
Traditionally, ice creams were served as refreshments among the many savory dishes at large banquets. Currently it is not usually eaten in such large quantities and ice cream becomes on a plate by itself, either at the beginning or at the end of meals.
Use a hemispherical spoon To form well-made balls of ice cream, and choose decorative cups or porcelain saucers if the ice cream is firm. A tall glass of sorbet or wine is ideal for serving sorbets and slushies, remember to give long spoons to reach the bottom of the glass. For a final touch, decorate with a cream roll, a crunchy pasta or a waffle.
I hope you found these interesting tips to succeed preparing a perfect water ice cream. Now the ideal time to consume them begins, and you already know that there is nothing like what we prepare at home by ourselves. If you dare to put them into practice, you will tell me what the results are.
Photos | katelig, Renée S. Suen, kaylacasey, She Who Shall Not Be Named, Fahara and Hamner_Photos Live at the Paladar | Tips for freezing sweet and salty doughs Direct to the Palate | Ice creams, very cold treats for all tastes. Recipe book