This was a totally unplanned recipe, yet a very welcome one. Since Ry works at a produce terminal he is surrounded by tons (literally, tons) of fruit and veg every day and he occasionally comes across some more exotic specimens. Or at least exotic for Philly. And on this glorious day, I was lucky enough for some dragonfruits to be around. They were actually scooped up and given to him by a coworker (Hi Steve!) with the spot-on suggestion that I should make some sorbet. And, when I’m asked to make some dragonfruit sorbet, I don’t say no.
I haven’t actually made any sorbet in the ice cream machine I currently have, so I started taking a look at some other sites, youtube and the internet webs and came across a method where you use a raw egg to determine if you have the correct amount of sugar in your mix. This is generally the difficult part of making a sorbet since you want enough sugar to hinder any major ice crystals from forming, but not so much that your sorbet never actually freezes and you’re stuck in that perpetual slushy zone. I would like to say it’s a fine balance, but in all honesty there’s a bit of leeway, you just want to get the sugar balance in the right “zone” so it turns out nice and scoopable. And, while you could follow an exact recipe, you don’t really know what your sugar concentration is in the fruit to start with, so it could be hit or miss.
This is where The Glorious Egg comes in. Your end goal here is to get an egg to float in your sorbet mix. Once you’ve added enough sugar, in our case simple syrup, and that egg is just floating, you know it will freeze to the correct consistency. I’m aware that there are various other methods you can use to get a near perfect consistency, like adding a small amount of alcohol or using corn syrup, but I don’t want to add either of those to my sorbet and I always have an egg around. While this is a slightly eccentric way of making sorbet, it works really well. This is the first time i’ve tried it and will certainly be using the “floating egg” method again. You can adapt it for any other fruit you want, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, peach pureé, mango, etc. Just pick something you like, and preferably something seasonal.
when I’m asked to make some dragonfruit sorbet, I don’t say no.
Just so we are clear, while the actual part of this recipe that you’re eating is vegan, the method is not. So if you’re morally vegan, this isn’t the recipe for you.
using the "floating egg" technique
I’m all about making frozen treats for summer, but I typically make small amounts, so feel free to double up on ingredients and swap out the dragonfruit for whatever else you want, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, mango, etc.
Required Tools: 1 egg – thoroughly washed and dried, ice cream machine, blender
- 1 Cup cane sugar – you can also use white sugar
- 3/4 Cup water
- 1 dragonfruit (pitaya)
- Juice from 2 limes
- nasturtium flowers, pansies, or another edible flower
Make sure to stash a container for your finished sorbet in the freezer so it’s pre-chilled and ready when you’re done churning.
You first want to make your simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it’s dissolved. Remove from the heat, place in a jar and let cool in the fridge.
Scoop out the contents of your dragonfruit (pitaya) and blend until smooth. It should only take a few seconds. Then add your blended dragonfruit to another jar and add in the lime juice. Just a note: I like to use the jars here, since they are easy to store in the fridge and have enough room where you can float your egg.
Next you want to get your egg and gently place it in your dragonfruit puree. You’ll notice the egg will sink to the bottom of the jar. Slowly add in about a quarter of the simple syrup and gently stir. Check to see if that egg is floating. You want about a quarter size portion of the egg floating above the level of the sorbet mix. Add in a bit more simple syrup, gently stir and check if the egg floats. I added in just over half of the simple syrup when the egg floated to the surface. Once it’s there you’re done adding in the sugar. Taste your mixture and see if you need any additional lime juice. And, just keep in mind that this will taste slightly too sweet before it’s frozen.
Thoroughly chill your sorbet mix for at least a few hours. Then when you are ready, add it to your ice cream machine and let it run for about 10-15 minutes following the machine’s instructions. When you’re finished churning, add it to a pre-chilled freezer ready container and leave to completely freeze for about 4 hours. I served mine in the frozen dragonfruit skins with some nasturtium flowers from our garden, cause they’re pretty, but you can use mint, pansies, or any other edible flower you want, though totally not necessary. Next, eat up!