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SORBETS – THE RIGHT WAY

Kumquat Sorbet

Kumquat Sorbet

With fresh kumquats, water, sugar, and tapioca (or corn) starch.

Kumquats are a great choice for making sorbet due to their tangy and sweet flavour. They are in season only during the winter, so we always take advantage of their seasonality and make this sorbet.


In this recipe, we use tapioca starch to thicken the sorbet mixture, which gives a velvety texture to the sorbet, but you can use corn starch if this is what you have.


Thickening the sorbet mixture with a starch gives it body, which makes the sorbet expand during churning and become fluffy. And the flavour? Uh, you will love it; it is pure kumquat bliss.

or see:

The ingredients

Do not reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason.

• Fresh kumquats: when choosing kumquats, look for fruit that is firm, brightly coloured, and free of blemishes or soft spots. The skin should be smooth and taut. Before using them, test them one by one by gently pressing them with your fingers; discard the soft and plumpy ones, as they might be spoiled and off-flavoured.

• Tapioca starch (or corn starch): tapioca starch fis our go-to starch to thicken a sorbet mixture, for the velvety texture it creates. If you do not have tapioca starch, you can use corn starch instead, which is not the same, but it still works. 

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). 

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Water, drinkable (not shown in the picture).

• Fresh kumquats: when choosing kumquats, look for fruit that is firm, brightly coloured, and free of blemishes or soft spots. The skin should be smooth and taut. Before using them, test them one by one by gently pressing them with your fingers; discard the soft and plumpy ones, as they might be spoiled and off-flavoured.

• Tapioca starch (or corn starch): tapioca starch fis our go-to starch to thicken a sorbet mixture, for the velvety texture it creates. If you do not have tapioca starch, you can use corn starch instead, which is not the same, but it still works. 

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). 

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Water, drinkable (not shown in the picture).

The recipe

Kumquat Sorbet

Kumquat Sorbet

Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream, prefer to weigh all the ingredients, even the liquid ones. 

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:

• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 tablespoon = 15 ml

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) in our recipes may not always be accurate conversions; any deviations in conversions you may notice do not affect the outcome.

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, we strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one. 

Instructions
Plan ahead:

The sorbet mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. 

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Make the kumquat infusion

Prepare the kumquats: wash and gently rub the kumquats (500 g; 18 oz) under tepid, running water. Pat them dry and slice them to a thickness you are comfortable with. No need to remove the seeds.

Place the kumquats in a large saucepan and pour 1000 g (35.5 oz) water over them.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it comes to a full boil (large bubbles, which vigorously pop, appear on the surface / at about 95° C / 200° F), remove the saucepan from the heat.

Cover the saucepan and leave to steep for at least 30 minutes; and up to three hours.

Strain: place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and pour the water and kumquats over it.

Extract kumquat flavour: using a silicone spatula, gently press the kumquat pulp that is on the sieve, aiming to extract as much fruit pulp as possible. Scrape with the rubber spatula any pulp attached to the outer bottom of the sieve and add it to the strained water.

Discard the kumquats left in the sieve, or keep them for another use.

Step 2: Prepare the sorbet mixture

Weigh out 1000 g (35.5 oz; or measure 4 cups & 50 ml) of the strained kumquat water into a medium saucepan. If needed, add water to reach the desired weight.

Make the tapioca slurry: put the tapioca starch (30 g; 1 oz) into a heatproof bowl and pour a splash or two of the weighted kumquat water. Whisk to create a smooth slurry. Set the bowl next to the stovetop.

Add the sugar (200 g; 7 oz) into the saucepan with the kumquat water and place the saucepan over medium-high heat.

Heat the kumquat water, often stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it comes to a full boil (large bubbles, which vigorously pop, appear on the surface / at about 95° C / 200° F) remove it from the heat and immediately pour it into the tapioca slurry in one single motion.

Stir with the rubber spatula for one minute. Notice that it will start to thicken as you stir.

Step 3: Chill until completely cold

Cool down the sorbet mixture. Leave it to cool down until it is no longer hot to the touch. This take about 1-2 hours at room temperature, or 30 minutes over an ice bath.

Put in the refrigerator until completely cold, about 8 hours, and up to 1 day.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the sorbet mixture must be fridge-cold (feels fridge-cold to the touch / if you have a thermometer below 12ºC / 54ºF ).

If the sorbet mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy sorbet.

Step 4: Churn the sorbet

Check if the sorbet mixture is cold before churning it: (it feels fridge-cold to the touch / below 12ºC / 54ºF).

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: with a rubber spatula give the sorbet mixture a nice, thorough stir.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the sorbet mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and steady; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This sorbet will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it is fluffy. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought sorbet; for now, it will be softer. It will firm up only after it sets in the freezer. So, stop the ice cream maker when the sorbet is steady and fluffy, as described above.

Note that some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the sorbet may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the sorbet, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 5: Put the sorbet in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the sorbet or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any sorbet attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· place it in the freezer, uncovered 
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: when it sets, you can serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storage.

The setting time for the sorbet largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 1-3 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1 hour for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 1 hour; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The sorbet is ready when it has an internal temperature of about -10ºC / 14ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the sorbet has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the sorbet is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

If the sorbet stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the sorbet is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -10°C / 14°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

Straight after churning, the sorbet has a soft consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of a store-bought one.

Storing and serving

Storing: in the freezer for three months, covered well.

Scooping: this sorbet, like all artisanal sorbets, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it scoopable by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -8°C / 18°F.

Instructions

The sorbet mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. 

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Prepare the kumquats:  wash and gently rub the kumquats (500 g; 18 oz) under tepid, running water. Pat them dry and slice them to a thickness you are comfortable with. No need to remove the seeds.

Place the kumquats in a large saucepan and pour 1000 g (35.5 oz) water over them.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it comes to a full boil (large bubbles, which vigorously pop, appear on the surface / at about 95° C / 200° F), remove the saucepan from the heat.

Cover the saucepan and leave to steep for at least 30 minutes; and up to three hours.

Strain: place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and pour the water and kumquats over it.

Extract kumquat flavour: using a silicone spatula, gently press the kumquat pulp that is on the sieve, aiming to extract as much fruit pulp as possible. Scrape with the rubber spatula any pulp attached to the outer bottom of the sieve and add it to the strained water.

Discard the kumquat pulp left in the sieve after straining, or keep it for another use.
Weigh 1000 g (35.5 oz) of the strained kumquat water into a medium saucepan. If needed, add water to reach the desired weight.

Make the tapioca slurry: put the tapioca starch (30 g; 1 oz) into a heatproof bowl and pour a splash or two of the weighted kumquat water. Whisk to create a smooth slurry. Set the bowl next to the stovetop.

Add the sugar (200 g; 7 oz) into the saucepan with the kumquat water and place the saucepan over medium-high heat.

Heat the kumquat water, often stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it comes to a full boil (large bubbles, which vigorously pop, appear on the surface / at about 95° C / 200° F) remove it from the heat and immediately pour it into the tapioca slurry in one single motion.

Stir with the rubber spatula for one minute. Notice that it will start to thicken as you stir.

Cool down the sorbet mixture. Leave it to cool down until it is no longer hot to the touch. This take about 1-2 hours at room temperature, or 30 minutes over an ice bath.

Put in the refrigerator until completely cold, about 8 hours, and up to 1 day.

Check if the sorbet mixture is cold before churning it: (it feels fridge-cold to the touch / below 12ºC / 54ºF).

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: with a rubber spatula give the sorbet mixture a nice, thorough stir.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the sorbet mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and steady; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the sorbet or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the sorbet) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any sorbet attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· place it in the freezer, uncovered 
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: when it sets, you can serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storage.

Storing: in the freezer for three months, covered well.

Scooping: this sorbet, like all artisanal sorbets, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it scoopable by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -8°C / 18°F.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the sorbet mixture must be fridge-cold (feels fridge-cold to the touch / if you have a thermometer below 12ºC / 54ºF ).

If the sorbet mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy sorbet.

This sorbet will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it is fluffy. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought sorbet; for now, it will be softer. It will firm up only after it sets in the freezer. So, stop the ice cream maker when the sorbet is steady and fluffy, as described above.

Note that some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the sorbet may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the sorbet, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

The setting time for the sorbet largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 1-3 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1 hour for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 1 hour; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The sorbet is ready when it has an internal temperature of about -10ºC / 14ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the sorbet has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the sorbet is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

Straight after churning, the sorbet has a soft consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of a store-bought one.

If the sorbet stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the sorbet is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -10°C / 14°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

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2 Responses

  1. For this recipe, would it be possible to do this in a vitamix? Will the mixture expand and fluff up?

    1. You need an ice cream machine for this. Does the Vitamix have an attachment for making ice cream?

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