Lemons, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy
Lemons, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy
Walter Bibikow
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Julia's Fruit Sherbets



Stonewall Kitchen, LLC 

"The value of those wild fruits is not in the mere possession or eating
of them, but in the sight and enjoyment of them."

~ Henry David Thoreau

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Citrons Jaunes
Citrons Jaunes
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Givelet, Frederic
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Lemon Sorbet in a Hollowed-out Lemon
Lemon Sorbet in a
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Strawberry Sorbet in a Stem Glass
Strawberry Sorbet in a Stem Glass
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La Belle Cuisine


Julia’s Fruit Sherbets

The Way to Cook

by Julia Child, 1994, Alfred A. Knopf

“People of a certain age always remember the Sunday chore of chipping the big block of ice to make pieces of freezer-fitting size, and of hand cranking for what seemed like hours until at last it would crank no more. How easy it is now to
make ice creams and sherbets, and we have such a choice of machines, from
the luxurious self-contained models to the simple small hand-crankers that
you stick in the freezer itself.
I shall not go into the mechanics of freezing, but shall concentrate on a handful
of formulae that I have found successful. Although you can freeze almost any-
thing containing the right proportions, just because it has frozen well does not
mean it will be a delight to eat. Fresh pineapple, for instance – what a great per-
fume when it is fully ripe; freeze it as is, however, and the perfume has almost
disappeared. Freeze a Crenshaw melon and you have nothing at all, but freeze
a strawberry purée and you have the essence of the fruit. In other words, success
depends on the fruit itself and its intensity of flavor, and I hope the following
will give you ideas to experiment with on your own."

Terminology Note:
Sorbet vs. sherbet. I know there is sometimes a distinction made that the one contains milk and the other does not, or vice versa. As far as I am concerned they
are one and the same, except that sorbet is contemporary cuisine chic-speak.


Master Recipe

Fresh Lemon Sherbet

“It’s lemon sherbet in party dress when you serve it in balloon-shaped goblets,
top it with a julienne of home-candied lemon peel, and pour around it a
shallow pool of aquavit. I first had this splendid combination in Venice.”

For 2 quarts, serving 10 to 12

4 to 6 large lemons – enough to make 1/2 scant cup of zests
(yellow part of peel only) and 1 cup of juice
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 egg whites lightly beaten into a foam with 1/8 teaspoon salt *
1 cup or so iced aquavit (2 hours in freezer)
Candied lemon peel, optional (see Special Note)

Special equipment suggested: A vegetable peeler; an electric blender –
more efficient for this purée than the food processor; a 2-quart saucepan
with tight-fitting cover; an ice cream scoop; a mixing bowl with a tray of
ice cubes and water to cover them, for a quick chill; chilled goblets

The sherbet. Remove the zests from the lemons with the vegetable peeler.
To extract their flavor, pulverize them 2  minutes with 1 cup of sugar in the electric blender; add 1 1/2 cups of the water and pulverize 2 minutes more. Pour into the saucepan, add the rest of the sugar, bring to the simmer, and swirl the pan by its handle for several seconds, until you are sure the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour in the cup of lemon
juice and the rest of the water; stir for several minutes over the ice cubes
and water until well chilled. Whisk in the egg whites, and freeze according
to your machine directions.
The moment of serving, scoop a ball or two of sherbet into each chilled goblet, pour around it a big spoonful of iced aquavit, and, if you
wish, fork out a half dozen strands of the candied peel for decoration.

* Be sure that your eggs come from a certified and carefully inspected source –
and make every effort to see that poultry inspection and sanitary regulations
are strictly enforced in your area. If we, the public, are alert and demanding,
our elected officials have no choice but to follow.
Use Grade AA or Grade A eggs, and never buy or use cracked or dirty eggs since broken or contaminated shells may have allowed harmful bacteria to penetrate.
Keep raw eggs and egg dishes refrigerated, serve cooked egg dishes as soon as
they are done; wash hands, utensils, and work surfaces in hot soapy water
whenever raw eggs are involved in a recipe.
Eggs – about 1 in every 10,000 at this writing [1994] - may contain salmonella bacteria. The bacteria multiplies at room temperature, but it is quiescent when chilled. It is killed when the egg is heated over 140 degrees F, or is hard boiled,
and it is also killed by a fairly strong dose of acid – lemon juice or vinegar.


Fresh Orange Sherbet

Follow the general directions for lemon sherbet, using 5 or 6 large fine
navel oranges. After cutting off the zest, squeeze the juice – you’ll want
a quart [4 cups] of juice rather than water. Purée half the zests with the
sugar, as described, and complete the sherbet. Candy the rest of the
zests. Serve the sherbet with a big spoonful of iced orange liqueur.


Pink Grapefruit Sherbet

Follow the general directions for the lemon sherbet, using 3 or 4 large fine pink grapefruit, and make the following exceptions. Purée half the zests for the sherbet, and reserve the rest for candying. Then cut off all the white part of the peel to expose the grapefruit flesh. Cut the segments from the dividing membranes, and place in a quart measure, adding to it enough juice from the remains to fill the measure – all juice and pulp, but no water. Proceed with
the recipe. Serve the sherbet with a big spoonful of iced kirsch.


Fresh Pineapple Sherbet in the Half Shell

“Fresh pineapple by itself, even though beautifully ripe, loses its taste when
frozen. You need therefore to intensify it but still keep that pure pineapple
flavor, and a judicious use of the canned fruit achieves that desired effect.
Serve it in the pineapple shell.”

For about 1 quart, serving 4 to 6

A 10-ounce can of pineapple slices in syrup
1 cup sugar
1 very ripe fresh pineapple
3 tablespoons white rum
The grated peel and juice of 1 lemon

Special equipment suggested: A grapefruit knife or pineapple corer;
a 6-cup saucepan with tight-fitting cover; an electric blender or food
processor; a bowl of ice cubes and water, for rapid chilling

Candying the canned pineapple. Drain the juice from the canned pine-
apple and bring it to the simmer in the saucepan with the sugar, swirling the pan until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then cover tightly and boil the
syrup to the “crack” stage (238 degrees F – when bubbles are thick). Add 3 pineapple slices and boil again to 238 degrees F – to candy them. Remove
the slices from the syrup and, when cool, cover and chill them.
The fresh pineapple.
Cut a cap off the side of the pineapple [a thick slice – illustration in cookbook]. Using a grapefruit knife or pineapple corer, remove the meat and hard central core from the pineapple – except for preserving the pineapple shell intact, you don’t have to be neat here.
The sherbet.
In a blender or processor, purée the pulp and the uncooked canned pineapple slices with the boiled-down pineapple syrup, the rum, and the grated lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir for several minutes over ice and water to chill, then freeze according to your machine directions. Cover and chill the pineapple shell.
Let the sherbet soften 15 minutes or so in the refrigerator, then
pack into the chilled shell. Decorate with the candied pineapple slices.

Ahead-of-time note: You may fill and freeze the shell, but let the sherbet
soften 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator before decorating and serving.


Special Note

Candied Lemon, Orange, or Grapefruit Peel

“Candied citrus peel is a charming edible decoration for sherbets,
puddings, and many fruit desserts. Once made, refrigerate in a
covered jar, where it will keep for weeks.”

Enough for at least 12 servings

The zests (colored part of peel only) of 4 large fine lemons,
3 oranges, or 2 grapefruit
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Special equipment suggested: A vegetable peeler; a 6-cup saucepan
with tight-fitting cover

Remove the zests with the vegetable peeler and cut them into neat julienne strips 1 1/2 inches long and less than 1/8 inch wide. Simmer in 1 quart of water 6 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside. Bring the sugar
and water to the simmer in the saucepan, and when the sugar has dissolved completely, cover the pan tightly and boil and moment or two, until the last drops of the syrup to fall from the end of a metal spoon form a thread. Remove from heat, stir in the peel, let steep for 1 hour, and it is ready to use.


Fresh Strawberry Sherbet with
Fresh Strawberries

“It’s just a purée of strawberries with sugar and a touch of lemon, but
when you freeze it you have the marvelous essence of pure strawberry.
I don’t know a better formula for strawberry sherbet.”

For 1 quart, serving 6 to 8

For the sherbet
1 1/2 quarts fine fresh ripe strawberries
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For decoration
1 quart or so fine fresh ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup or more sugar

Special equipment suggested: A food processor; a bowl of ice cubes
and water for quick chilling

The sherbet mixture. Stem the strawberries, drop them into a large bowl
of cold water, swish gently, and drain immediately. Purée them in the processor with the sugar and lemon juice, continuing until the sugar has dissolved completely – taste analytically to be sure. Stir over the ice and
water to chill thoroughly; freeze according to your machine directions.
The strawberry garnish.
An hour or so before serving, wash and stem the second group of strawberries and drain thoroughly on a rack; quarter or
halve them lengthwise. Toss gently in a bowl with the lemon juice, wine
vinegar, and sugar to taste. Cover and chill.
Spoon the sliced strawberries around each portion of sherbet; almond wafers [Tuiles aux Amandes] make an attractive accompaniment.


Fresh Raspberry Sherbet

Substitute fresh raspberries for strawberries, but strain the puree to
eliminate seeds before freezing the sherbet.

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