Whooowutt?? This was a revelation. You mean I can make my own icy treats simply and easily, without a large capital outlay?
I can't remember what got me searching, but I found a couple recipes for sorbet that didn't rely on an ice cream maker and decided to try this delicious-sounding raspberry, honey, black-tea sorbet. The addition of the tea into the mix is brilliant! Alright, well I used wulong instead of black tea, but it was great anyway. Really, I'm pretty sure a lot of teas would be good. Seeing the couple recipes on that page and the one I saw elsewhere were really eye-opening. This is such a flexible concept. You can really try combining a lot of different fruits, teas, or whatever you want. You do need a food processor or blender, though. Otherwise, the process is very easy.
Essentially, all you need to do is cut up your fruit of choice and freeze it (cutting not necessary with small fruits like raspberries), blend it, and put it back into the freezer for it to firm up. That's the bare-bones process. Now if you're making a syrup, like in the recipe pictured here, then there's that to make and refrigerate before throwing it in to blend with the fruit. Also, I learned from my summer roommate that to get a smoother consistency, you can take the liquid mixture out of the freezer every five minutes, stir it and put it back, for two hours. Yeah...too much process for me, but I may try it some time to see how the texture differs. Also, with the food processor, there were some larger icy granules in the sorbet, probably because it doesn't cut things up as fine as a blender would.
Regarding this recipe, I must say, the creator really has a sweet tooth. I looked at the recipe, halved the sugar and water, and still found it to be too sweet for my taste. [**note: my mistake. On looking at the ice cream recipes on the page, I realize that the syrup recipes are meant to be larger batches than the sorbet/ice cream recipes require, such that you make them and only use part of the total amount made.**] Next time with this recipe, I'd probably reduce the honey a little since its flavor was a little strong, and maybe just drop the sugar altogether while reducing the water more so the syrup's not too watery, too. Next time in general, I'm going to try adding a little banana into the mix to give the sorbet a smoother texture.
I really like these applications of fruit where they can be softer and maybe a little overripe (the other one in mind being overripe bananas for banana bread). Means you can take advantage of sale prices. Berries are expensive.
Check out pics from the process below:
raspberries and syrup, ready to blend (or rather, food process)
after freezing again, prêt à manger!