Fruit pearls are tiny, caviar-sized balls that are made from fruit juice. The small balls are either flash-frozen to create a hard texture, or made through a process called molecular gastronomy. With molecular gastronomy, drops of juice are dripped into liquid nitrogen or mixed with edible chemicals and dropped in a calcium chloride solution to form chewy pearls with juicy centers. Although it sounds like an advanced project, making your own fruit pearls is easy with a few simple chemical ingredients that are widely available through the Internet.
Things You'll Need
Making Fruit Pearls
Weigh 200 grams of juice using the kitchen scale. Pour it into a small bowl and set aside.
Measure 2 grams of sodium alginate and add it to the juice.
Mix the alginate and the juice with a handheld immersion blender for one minute to combine the ingredients.
Fill a plastic syringe with the mixture and set aside.
Measure 100 grams of water and 1 gram of calcium chloride. Stir them together in a large, stainless-steel bowl.
Use the syringe to drip small drops of the juice mixture into the bowl with the calcium chloride solution. Let the pearls sit in the solution for two minutes, then remove with a ladle or spoon.
Create a larger test pearl before making smaller ones to ensure the proper consistency. For tougher pearls, add a little sodium alginate. For softer pearls, add a few more drops of juice to the mixture.
Make fruit juice combinations by placing different fruits into a juicer.
Create a fruit pearl cocktail parfait by adding different flavored fruit pearls to a small dish. Place the dish in the freezer for five to 20 minutes for a frozen treat.
Use fruit pearls to decorate cakes, pies, sundaes and cupcakes. Or use as a garnish with dinner entrees.
Make cranberry juice fruit pearls and serve them with chicken or turkey for a unique twist on cranberry sauce.
Make vegetable juice pearls to add to health shakes, salads or to eat as a side dish.
References and ResourcesOcean County Register: “Chemistry Cuisine”; Cathy Thomas; June 9, 2007.
Nature: European Molecular Biology Organization Articles; “Food for Tomorrow?” Herve This