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I'm trying to create a sorbet using a frozen fruit (specifically strawberries) using the magic bullet. The way that I do it is by literally putting a bunch of frozen, ice-hard strawberries into the bullet and pulsing the bullet for a long time giving it breaks so I don't burn out the motor. I end up with what looks like a strawberry sorbet BUT it tastes empty.

Goal: I want to create a strawberry sorbet which tastes good and is healthy (so I'd love to avoid processed sugar). Also, if there's a faster way to do it other than by pulsing the magic bullet forever that would be awesome too!

Current Developments: I've tried adding lemon juice, it made it a bit better but it still had a hollow ice flavour.

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Despite the name - the Magic Bullet isn't magic - just saying ;) – rfusca Nov 11 '11 at 0:29
haha definitely not, it's just a small blender with a bad motor. – ChrisM Nov 11 '11 at 0:46
It's useful though because you can whip it out quickly, use it, and then clean it without much hassle – ChrisM Nov 11 '11 at 0:46
The best way to make sorbet is of course in an ice cream maker, but I'm guessing you weren't looking to buy one. You could also do granitas, by freezing in a pan then scraping, but I'm not sure that'd be any faster than a blender. It also sounds like your strawberries are maybe too cold - you could thaw them partially, then blend. – Jefromi Nov 11 '11 at 1:56
You'll get a fuller flavor, I think, if you move away from a sorbet and towards sherbet, by adding cream. Alternatively, you may just have too much water... – derobert Nov 12 '11 at 10:35
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Almost any normal sorbet recipe will contain a decent amount of sugar, and strawberries are no exception. I'd guess probably 1/2-2/3 cup per pound of strawberries. Use a substitute if you have an aversion - honey, agave, raw cane sugar, whatever you prefer. (Of course, anything liquid is going to contain some water, and cause a bit of ice, but it's still doable.) A sorbet without any extra sugar, even when frozen normally in an ice cream maker, is going to end up with a very icy texture, which will probably keep you from experiencing the flavor as much. The sugar helps soften it.

The other common way to soften a sorbet is alcohol. Rosé wine (thank you, David Lebovitz) works quite well in a strawberry sorbet. Vodka can be your go-to liquor for any impromptu sorbet with other fruits, since it'll add alcohol without any flavors that clash. Beyond that, either look for recipes, or look for mixed drinks containing the fruit you're using.

You might also be having problems simply because your strawberries aren't that great. Did you freeze them, or were they storebought? If you bought the strawberries yourself, you'd know they were decent before freezing, while not all storebought frozen fruit is as flavorful.

Finally, it's possible that your frozen strawberries collected some extra water in the form of frost, which then makes your sorbet icier. If there are obvious big chunks you could scrape them off.

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Really good answer. Anything frozen tastes and smells much weaker than the same thing before freezing. You have to make your sorbet base as sweet as jam to have a normal sweetness after it's frozen. And yes, you need enough solids in it so you don't end up with lumps of hard water ice. Strawberries are almost pure water, sugar or another sweetener has to provide the bulk. – rumtscho Nov 11 '11 at 10:35
+1 - Thanks this works great! I combined information from all answers, to make a great sorbet, so read them all! – ChrisM Nov 14 '11 at 16:32

Try the lemon juice, a touch of honey, and just a tiny, tiny bit of vanilla.

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Ooo honey and vanilla, that I didn't think of. I'm going to try all the suggestions tomorrow night, so I'll get back to you then! – ChrisM Nov 11 '11 at 0:48
+1'd - all good ideas! – ChrisM Nov 14 '11 at 16:33

To boost the flavour of 'not-great' strawberries, try throwing in a few raspberries (fresh or frozen) and the lemon juice suggested by rfusca. Their very intense flavour will add zing to your sorbet.

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+1'd - raspberries were a great idea – ChrisM Nov 14 '11 at 16:33

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