11/02/2011 04:53 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Sorbet

Learn how to make sorbet using fresh or frozen fruits and a variety of sweeteners with these tips from chef Todd Knaster of The Culinary Institute of America. In this video, chef Knaster makes strawberry sorbet using fresh berries that he has frozen. He first adds the berries to a blender with 1/2 of a syrup he has made (containing 12 ounces of sugar, 8 ounces of water and 2 ounces of corn syrup). If you don't want to use corn syrup, honey or agave syrup are similar substitutes. He blends this mixture slowly, and once the fruit is nicely puréed, he adds the rest of the sugar. If you're trying to cut back on sugar, you can use less -- but note, the less sugar you add, the harder the sorbet will freeze. Strain the blended mixture over a bowl if you prefer your sorbet to be seedless. Chef Knaster says that any in-season or frozen fruit will work nicely, but he suggests mangos and bananas as two great alternatives to strawberries.

Lastly, chef Knaster adds this mixture to his ice cream maker. Directions for different ice cream makers will vary, but his required him to freeze the canister overnight. Note -- chef Knaster froze his fresh berries to ensure that the liquid sorbet mixture would be cold enough to properly freeze. If you don't use frozen fruit, place the mixture in the refrigerator for up to an hour to cool. The sorbet then churns in the ice cream maker for 20 to 25 minutes, until it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You can then eat the sorbet when it's this texture, or freeze it to reach a harder consistency.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Knaster from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make sorbet.

Today we're going to make strawberry sorbet, but you can use any fruit you want; whether it's fresh or frozen, it's going to be just as good. Here we have our fresh berries, and I have a little bit of lemon juice, which really helps enhance the flavor of the fruit and cut the sweetness. I made a syrup from twelve ounces of sugar, eight ounces of water and two ounces of corn syrup. Corn syrup lowers the freezing point; it's going to keep it softer in the freezer. If you don't want to use corn syrup, you can use honey or agave syrup.

To start off, I'm going to put our berries into the blender and I'm going to add about half my sugar syrup, to help blend the berries up. I can add the rest once I get that mix nice and smooth. We'll start off on a low speed. Basically once you see the fruit's totally pureed, nice and smooth, we'll add the rest of the sugar syrup. You can add a little bit less, if you're trying to cut down a little bit. The less sugar you add, the harder the sorbet's going to freeze, so you just eat it a little bit sooner. I'll put the juice from a whole lemon in there. It definitely pays to use fresh lemon.

Now I'm going to strain it into a bowl. A ladle works to help get it pushed through there quickly. If you don't mind the seeds, you don't have to strain it. Any fruit that's in season, or any frozen fruit, would work great for this; mangoes are excellent, as are bananas. Even blending fruits together is awesome.

We've got the mixture strained, and noq we'll put it into our ice cream maker. Every ice cream maker's going to be a little different, so you'll follow the instructions for your own. This type needs to be in the freezer overnight so that it's cold enough to freeze the mixture. I started off with fresh berries that I froze; you want to have the mixture nice and cold before you put it into the ice cream machine. Once it's all in, put the top on, and it's usually going to take about twenty, twenty-five minutes. Basically, the texture you're looking for when it's finished is like a soft-serve ice cream consistency. You're not looking for it to be hard; the hardening comes once you put it into your freezer.

It's been mixing for about twenty-five, thirty minutes now; it's at that nice soft-serve ice cream consistency - so it's ready. I'll show you what that looks like. Nice and creamy, and now you can eat it right away or keep it in the freezer. So there we go: a beautiful, nice, fresh strawberry sorbet, nice and creamy.