Ice Creams And SorbetsFreezing As A Cooking Technique

Perhaps because it's a relatively modern procedure and because it's typically used for food preservation, but the technique of freezing is almost never considered to be a cookery technique. Cooking is almost always considered to the be the technique of the addition of heat to a dish.

But where would we be without ice creams, sorbets, granaches and other frozen foods? Doesn't the technique of the preparation of these foods also deserve the term of cookery? After all you combine ingredients to form these dishes it's just that they're not heated, rather they're cooled.

To show what I mean, below I include a recipe for an ice cream and a classic sherbet.

Cherry Ice Cream

Ingredients:
140g dried cherries
120ml dark rum
600ml single cream
100g sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Add the cherries to a bowl, cover with the rum and set aside over night to plump up. The following day mix the sugar and single cream together in a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Add 150ml of the warmed cream to the eggs. Whisk to combine then pour the egg yolk mix back into the pan.

Continue cooking the custard gently, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (but do not allow to boil). Take off the heat, then stir-in the vanilla extract and set aside to chill. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and allow to cool for 2 hours.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, drain the cherries and when the ice cream begins to thicken add to the mixture and continue freezing until the ice cream is done.

Lemon Cream Sherbet

Ingredients:
150g sugar
80ml lemon juice
360ml milk
120ml cream
pinch of salt
2 tsp gelatine in 2 tbsp cold water and allowed to soak for 10 minutes

Method:
Mix together the sugar and milk in a pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then take off the heat and cool to room temperature.

In a bowl combine the milk and sugar mix with the lemon juice, cream and salt and whisk to combine then gradually add the gelatine mixture. Place in a large tub suitable for the freezer then chill until almost set. Bring out of the freezer and beat for 10 minutes or until very light then return to the freezer and chill until frozen.

If, during the final process, the mixture separates and the bottom becomes full of ice crystals you should remove from the freezer and beat again to combine.

I would challenge anyone to deny that the method of producing these dishes can't be classed as 'cookery'.

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About The Author, Gwydion
Dyfed Lloyd Evans runs the Celtnet Recipes site where you can find many more recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets and Sherbets and there are many more Classic British Recipes as well.