Harvesting citrus flavors

In the Modernist Techniques Forum
I tried to make lime gel and cold citrus sauce.
For the gel, I used 100ml lime juice, some sugar and 1 tbsp agar flakes.
For the cream, I used 250ml citrus juice, 2 egg yolks, 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp xanthan.

The gel is watery and too sour. The sauce is actually a mayonnaise, which is not what I wanted, and it has foul flavor. My questions are:

1. Does citrus counter the gelling effect of agar? I know it can counter gelatin.
2. When using citrus for flavor, should you dilute its acid kick with water? Sugar? something else?
3. Instead of my mayonnaise, how can you turn citrus juice into a thick, mildly flavored translucent sauce?

Thanks to anybody who can answer!

4 Replies So Far

1) Citrus usually works fine with agar, I just did a orange and lemon juice pudding and it worked well. I did about 150g water, 350g orange juice (1/2 added after boiling), and 75g lemon juice, and 75g sugar with 6.8g agar to make the pudding (I let it gel and then pureed it).

2) You can taste the sauce before gelling it to see if it's too sour but in general a sauce made from just lime juice will taste sour like straight lime juice. I'd keep adding water until it had the flavor profile you want.

3) For a sauce-like consistency I'd either user 0.3% xanthan gum or 0.5%-1.0% agar (and then blend the resulting gel).
I'd agree with Jason for the most part, but would suggest that adding more water won't really help with the flavour. Instead add a touch more sugar, or even something like a good-quality honey for extra depth of flavour. Hope this helps.
Yeah, I agree Sam. I just wasn't sure what the flavor issue really was. I know sometimes lemonade is too sour and just diluting it some helps the flavors blend a little better. As you said, sugar or honey could work really well too!
Yeah that's a good point - lemonade is one of those things where diluting it works really well. Oh well - team work! :)

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