Ices, sorbets, granite and sherbets

Ices, sorbets, granite and sherbets

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Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Freshly made water ices are among the most delectable of frozen ices – whether called sorbets as in France, sherbets as in the US or granite in Italy. Sorbets are generally accepted to be fruit juices sweetened and frozen. However, they may also be made with tea, coffee, Champagne or a sherbetsspirit. Granite are frozen fruit purées softened until granular in texture; sherbet is the American version of granita. For a finer grained ice, a lightly beaten egg white or softened gelatine may be folded into the mixture to be frozen. Buttermilk or milk is often added to the fruit mixture.

Ices combine magnificently with a scoop of ice cream, or with fresh fruit. They may be served in fruit shells – scooped-out oranges or lemons, half a poached pear, half a small melon – and garnished with fresh garden leaves. Meringues are often shaped into containers for ices, and pretty crystal or glass plates and goblets can be enhanced with the delicate colours of fruit ices.

Sorbets may be served before the main course to refresh the palate or with other creams or fruit as a dessert. Three-star restaurants all over the world are featuring sorbets and ices on their menus, and offer different flavoured sorbets on a plate, together with the fresh fruits from which they were made.

Making sorbets is easier if you have a small, electrically powered sorbet machine, known as a sorbetière.The paddles of the machine keep the mixture in motion as it freezes, thus preventing the formation of large ice crystals. However, sorbets can be made very successfully without such a machine, as long as the mixture is whisked every half‑hour or so while freezing.

Ices, sorbets, granite, sherbets – neither solid nor liquid – are refreshing concoctions to be enjoyed at any time of the day, and can do much to refresh the palate during a rich meal.

To freeze ices: Follow the directions in To Freeze Ice Cream and Ices.

Ingredients

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