Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Second Sorbet Attempt - Red Zinger

Since the orange sorbet was such a success, I was eager to try something else. Due to the lack of conveniently located fresh fruit and a fondness for iced Red Zinger, I decided to try Red Zinger sorbet. I found a recipe from Food & Wine, but I decided not to follow it. In hindsight, I'm not sure whether that was a good idea or not. It calls for a quarter of the sugar that I used and you steep the tea with the sugar. When I've tried to replicate Pyewacket's superb iced Red Zinger, I've noticed that if you sweeten the tea before it cools, it almost has a medicinal flavor. If you add the sugar after it cools, it's more like adding a packet at the table. Still, adding a packet and adding a whole cup of sugar are two different things.

I imagined that 4 tea bags of Red Zinger in 2 cups of water would be more tart than 2 cups of orange juice, so I thought that boiling 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water for the syrup would actually be on the sour side. I didn't have any grapefruit juice, so I used about a cup of grapefruit IZZE soda.

It froze beautifully in the sorbet maker, but then I put the container in the door of my freezer, which was probably a mistake. I'm betting it melted some before it refroze.

It actually tastes pretty good, perhaps even surprisingly good, but it's not as good as the orange sorbet, by any means. The texture was not as smooth as the orange sorbet, probably because I suspect it actually contains less sugar overall, even though it tastes sweeter. This is a case where the corn syrup probably would come in handy, but I want to try this recipe again without substituting with wild abandon and I'd like to try using pure hibiscus tea, rather than Red Zinger. I have plenty of loose hibiscus tea at the office and it's extremely tart.

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