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About Chef David Sterling

  Sorbete de Guanabana


The ugly duckling fruit: guanabana


TO KNOW GUANÁBANA IS TO LOVE GUANÁBANA . Surely the ugly duckling of the large Annona family, guanábana – known as “soursop” in English – is off-putting in ways beyond its appearance and English name: the sticky pulp clings to both the leathery, prickly skin and to the scores of seeds, making extracting the flesh of soursop a labor of love. But for the truehearted, the effort pays off. Guanábana pulp is creamy, sweet, aromatic and vaguely reminiscent of pineapple – in short, ambrosial. Once the pulp has been extracted, the purée is easy enough to make. But good, unadulterated pulps are also available frozen or canned under several brand names.

Prepare ahead note: If you are using a nice, hefty guanábana (I recommend here 2 ½ lbs. / 1.2 K) you will have enough pulp for several recipes. The pulp freezes very well for many weeks. For convenience, place 1 cup (250ml) measures of the pulp in small resealable sandwich bags and freeze.

• 1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
• 1 ½ cups (375ml) water
• Two half-inch wide (1.25cm) strips lime rind
STEP 1: PLACE SUGAR, WATER AND RIND in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As mixture heats, swirl pan to dissolve sugar. Cook about 1 minute or until sugar has completely dissolved and liquid is clear. Off heat, cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes as you proceed with the following.
• 2 ½ lbs. (1.2 K) guanábana
STEP 2: NOTE: If you are using frozen pulp, skip to Step 4. SLICE THE FRUIT IN HALF LENGTHWISE, then cut the halves in half lengthwise. Remove the fibrous core that runs down the center of each piece. Peel away the leathery skin; if it is stubborn and sticks to the pulp, separate it with a sharp knife or scrape the pulp away with a large spoon. Pull the pulp apart in sections; using your fingertips, squeeze the seeds out of each section and discard. Continue until you have completed removing and seeding all of the pulp. You should have approximately 3 cups (650g) of the skinned, seeded pulp.
• 1 ½ cups (375ml) water

STEP 3: PLACE PULP AND WATER IN THE JAR OF A BLENDER; process until the mixture is well puréed. You should have approximately 4 cups (1 L) of the purée. Reserve 2 cups (500ml) of the purée for this recipe and freeze the rest as per the instructions above.

• 2 cups (500ml) guanábana purée (your own as above, or frozen)
STEP 4: REMOVE THE LIME RIND from the sugar syrup and discard. Pour syrup into a medium mixing bowl; add the guanábana purée and use a whisk to incorporate thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Place finished sorbet in a covered freezer container and freeze for 2-3 hours before serving.
Optional variations: You can make virtually any sorbet of fleshy tropical fruits by following the above recipe. Try Sorbete de Mango, Sorbete de Mamey (if you have mameyes available), or Sorbete de Piña (pineapple). Replace the guanábana purée in Step 4 with a purée of your fruit of choice. Start with approximately 3 ½ lbs. (1.5k) of whole fruit, rendering 3 cups (650g) of cleaned, chopped fruit and 4 cups (1L) of the purée, of which you only need 2 cups (500ml) for the sorbet (freeze the rest for later). Since many tropical fruits contain more water than does guanábana, reduce the amount of water in the purée to ½ cup (125ml), adding more as necessary just to keep the blender moving. The result should be a thick yet pourable purée. Proceed with the rest of the recipe for Sorbete de Guanábana.


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