How to Save Ruined Sorbet

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Photo by jspatchwork/Flickr CC

We don't throw away much ice cream at Toscanini's. The other day I found a bad batch of strawberry sorbet and a bad batch of raspberry-blueberry. A batch equals four three-gallon tubs. The strawberry sorbet was coarse in texture and, I thought, easy to fix. Melting and refreezing sorbets is a straightforward process. Ice creams are usually impossible to refreeze, though some expensive restaurants claim to melt and refreeze ice cream every day.

After melting the four tubs of strawberry sorbet, I put them all together in a larger container and used a scary kitchen tool to further puree the berries. A burr blender looks like something from a slasher movie or a very adolescent sex movie. It enables cooks to puree large quantities of food in a big container instead of subdividing into batches. I pureed the now-melted strawberries a lot and added more sugar in order to improve the texture of the sorbet. Using leftover orange juice and sugar I made an orange syrup that also changed the flavor from strawberry sorbet to strawberry-orange sorbet. Everything worked, and after freezing in the ice cream machine the sorbet was excellent.

The ice cream had been made by simply adding frozen blueberries to a pretty good raspberry ice cream. Simply adding frozen blueberries to an ice cream is not a good idea; it results in an unfortunate texture that makes one think of Macadam roads and glacial till. This flavor was beyond repair. Saved one and failed with another. Probably gained a new sorbet flavor and lost $100 on the bad ice cream.

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Gus Rancatore is the co-founder of Toscanini, the Cambridge-based shop that The New York Times said makes "the best ice cream in the world." Learn more at www.tosci.com.

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