Let me go check the cook's illustrated library in the back. They have the perfect sorbet recipe. I hope we have the issue...stay tuned.
Okay, they really are organizing our magazine collection. I found it!
Here is there master technique for fruit sorbets.
It is generalized, but there is a chart above for different fruits. I'll list the recipe and then a few of the more common fruits. I can also xerox this and fax it to you, if you want.
2 C. fruit puree or juice
3/4-1 1/4 C. sugar (they recommend 1/2 C. sugar per cup of fruit, needing a bit more or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit you are using - so, more for say, lemon)
0-2 T. lemon juice
1 T. vodka or other alcohol (this is the secret - it keeps the sorbet from having an icy consistency)
Okay, here's the ratios for the more common flavors:
Rasberry, blackberry, or strawberry: puree 3 cups of berries with 1/2 c. cold water until smooth, strain the seeds. Use 1 C. sugar, 1 T. lemon juice, 1 T vodka
Lemon: grate 2 tsp. zest from three large lemons; combine with 1/2 cup. fresh squeezed juice (meyer lemons are in season now you know) and 1 1/2 cups cold water. 1 1/4 c. sugar, no additional lemon juice, 1 T. vodka
Mango: Peel and pit 3 medium mangos. Puree the flesh w/ 1/2 c. cold water until smooth. 3/4 C. plus 1 T. sugar, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T vodka
Other flavors are watermelon, pineapple, peach, grapefruit, blueberry and apple.
I've made the lemon and all sorts of berry mixes.
Oh yeah, then you make sure your ice cream maker is ready to go, turn it on, and pour in the mixture. What kind of maker is it? You should probably follow the instructions, in case your's is different than my Krups one (which I adore, btw).
As for ice creams, I haven't made too much but I'll hunt around and see if I have a good recipe. Usually the ones that start with a custard base, though more work, are the nicest. That's why I always recommend the sorbet recipe, cause sorbet is sooooo much easier to make, in my opinion.
I find the Cook's Illustrated recipes are always reliable! A great suggestion. They have several cookbooks out. I often joke it is like "cooking for scientists" because they test all these variations and end up with a well researched recipe. They are sometimes a little more complex, but they take things into consideration like instructing you to have ingrediants at room temperature or add is specific sequence. It is really helpful for a novice cook, as the results are so reliable. They have a really great cheese cake recipe in their best of cookbook!
Unfortunately, I am at work, and not anywhere near my notebook. I have been playing around with different types of mixtures, cream, half and half, cream and nonfat milk, etc, etc, but still have yet to find one that yield the perfect consistency.
What kind of ice cream maker do you have?
I use a cuisineart. If you've got one of those fancy fancy kitchenaid mixer with the ice cream maker attachment, then I have got to say that I am very envious.
i've got a cuisinart ice-20 series.
made my first custard base last night for ginger ice cream. gotta get crystalized-type ginger tonight so i can churn it. don't know if i should use crystalized or naked (crystalized without the crystalized part) ginger as i dunno if the crystalized stuff will have sugar in enough of a quantity to effect things.