Sorbet is a semi-frozen dessert, usually made with a sugar syrup flavored with fresh fruit puree and other ingredients such as mint, jasmine, tea, coffee or various liqueurs. You can minimize the sugar or use artificial sweeteners. About 2 pounds (1 kg) of fruit makes 1 quart ( 1 litre) of sorbet after freezing, with or without using an ice cream machine. Freezing tends to diminish the sweet flavors, so you may find it necessary to add extra healthy sweetener before freezing.
Granita is Italian style sorbet that is not churned, and so doesn't require an ice-cream maker. The mixture is prepared and mixed every 30-60 minutes during freezing, using a fork (or you can remove and beat using and blender or mixer). The ice crystals are larger, more granular and crunchy than in a sorbet. If you don't have an ice cream mixer, the sorbet and sherbet recipes below become Granitas, but they are still delicious. The more frequently they are stirred when freezing, the more creamy they become. Homemade ice cream was made using this frequent stirring while freezing method, before home ice cream makers become available.
Sherbet is a creamier version of a fruit sorbet, with a little milk, cream, egg whites and perhaps gelatin added to provide a richer sorbet that resembles a Gelato. However, sherbets are still much lighter than Gelato or ice cream.
Essentially these deserts are based on pureed fresh fruit, syrup and water, with some extra ingredients to add flavor, intrigue and creaminess. These extra ingredients are widely available. There is minimal equipment needed. So it is very easy to make these desserts at home. Better still you can add alcohol as liqueurs and spirits to make adult versions that are naughty and nice.
A blender or food processor is handy for for pureeing the fruit and crushing the ice. While useful, these devices are not absolutely essential as you can buy pureed fruit, use nectars and fruit juice concentrates, and mash very ripe fruit with a fork.
An ice cream machines are very useful for freezing the dessert to produce a creamy texture with tiny ice crystals, but are not essential as you can use the stir-while-freezing method.
Serving Advice Tip - both sherbets and sorbets don't have the high fat content of ice cream and so they can be quite hard when taken immediately from the freezer. It is a good idea, to remove the containers from the freezer at least 5 minutes before serving as this will soften them slightly and make them easier to scoop.
Below is the best ever sorbet recipes of various types. They can be made with and blender and ice cream maker, or you can make them by hand using a chopper and whisk, and stirring regularly while the sorbet is freezing. Enjoy!
Prepare an ice bath for cooling the mixture prior to freezing. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup water in a small saucepan while bringing to the boil. Slice or chop the peaches or nectarines and heat for a couple of minutes. Cool the mixture in an ice bath or in the refrigerator. Add the lemon juice and rum and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream maker or manually make the sorbet by stirring every 30 minutes while freezing.
Combine the water and sugar or honey in a small saucepan over moderate heat, Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool in an ice bath. All the lemon juice and zest and mix to combine. Add to an ice cream maker and churn using the manufacturer's instructions. Freeze in the refrigerator to solidify the sorbet before serving. You can freeze without an ice cream maker by stirring with a fork every 30 minutes while freezing in a metal pan.
Wash the apples, peel them and remove the cores, and chop into large pieces. Place the apple pieces into a saucepan and add the castor sugar. Add water and cook while stirring until the apples start to soften. Let the mixture cool and then blend the apples until smooth or pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the glucose and lemon juice and mix well. Chill the bowl in an ice bath or the refrigerator. Place the mixture into an ice cream maker or freeze, stirring even 30 minutes until frozen. Freeze for a few hours to ensure it solidifies and serve with a sprig of mint.
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar Cool. Set aside to cool. Add the syrup mixture and blueberries to a blender and pulse until just smooth, but don't overdo it. Add the red wine and stir through. Freeze using an ice cream maker or manual methods by stirring every 30-50 minutes while freezing in a metal tray.
Add the water, raspberries, sugar and Campari to a blender and pulse on medium until raspberries are pureed (about 30 seconds). To remove the seeds, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer the raspberry puree to a mixing bowl and add the salt lemon juice (to taste) and the orange zest. Cover the mixture and chill in an ice bath or in the refrigerator until very cold. Freeze and churn in ice cream maker or freeze manually, stirring every 30 minutes. Chill the sorbet for at least 4 hours before serving to ensure it is solidified.
Add the ginger and pears to the Riesling in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat under the pan and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes to soften the pears. Transfer the mixture to a blender bowl, add the sugar and puree until just smooth (20-30 seconds). Sieve through a strainer, add the salt and lemon juice to taste and set aside in the refrigerator to chill completely. Freeze using an ice cream maker or manually. Freeze in the refrigerator of 4-5 hours before serving.
Add the pineapple chunks to a blender bowl with about 1/4 cup of water and puree. Add the sugar and aleppo chiles, and blend until the sugar dissolves. Pour the puree into a container that can be sealed airtight. Add the lime juice and tequila. Mix and set aside covered in the refrigerator for several hour to get very cold. Freeze manually, mixing every 30 minutes, or churn in ice cream machine. Freeze for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving with sprigs of fresh mint.
Pour boiling water over the Turkish coffee, allow to brew for several minutes and then pour into a jug through a tea strainer or muslin cloth. Add the sugar, 4 cups of water, cocoa powder, glucose and cardamom pods. Slowly bring to the boil, mixing to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Then, strain the mixture using muslin or a very fine metal sieve. Freeze manually or using and ice cream maker. Set aside in the freezer for 4-5 hours before serving.
Drain the tinned fruit and reserve the juice. Put the reserved juice or 1/2 cup of water, if using fresh fruit into a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool in the refrigerator. Combine the fruit, passionfruit, cooled syrup, lemon juice and egg whites into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Freeze manually or using an ice cream maker. Freeze in the refrigerator of 3-4 hours before serving.
The recipes are flexible and you can add other ingredients or substitute other fruits depending on what is freshly available at the time.
Use a large saucepan to prepare the fruit syrup mixture. Add the strawberries, lemon juice, salt, honey and 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan. Bring to the boil over moderate heat and then reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently and gently cook for 10-15 minutes stirring often, until the strawberries have just started to soften. Puree this mixture in a blender - several batches may be required. Pour the pureed strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl using a spoon, pressed into the residue, to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the residue. Set the bowl in a bath of ice and water to cool the liquid, or refrigerate. When the liquid is cold, whisk in the creme fraiche and freeze in an ice cream maker, and then serve or store in the freezer. Or place the mixture in a metal container and stir with a fork every 30-60 minutes while freezing in the refrigerator.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix by hand using a whisk, or pulse in a blender until all the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the milk. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until the mixture is very cold. Transfer the cold mixture to an ice cream maker and process until softly frozen. Transfer to the refrigerator, and freeze for about 3 hours to firm the sherbet, before serving.
Defrost the frozen pineapple and mango pieces for about 10 minutes. Transfer all the ingredients to a blender or food processor, and pulse until just smooth. Freeze using an ice cream maker, or freeze in an airtight container for about 90 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes to keep the mixture smooth. Other fruit can be used instead.
Place the cherries in a medium size saucepan, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a slow boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently until the cherries just start to soften. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Then, add the cherries and syrup mixture to a blender or food processor, and pulse until the cherries are chopped, but not liquefied. Add the milk, liqueur, lemon juice and pulse several times to combine well blend briefly. Place in an ice cream maker and process. Transfer to a covered bowl and freeze in the refrigerator for 3-24 hours before serving.