When you go to a dessert shop where the place specialises in artisanal ice cream or gelato, you would usually see a tub or perhaps a few containing various sorbets. While it’s easy and convenient to purchase them from the shop, did you know that you can easily make sorbet at home?
What Is Sorbet?
So, first things first, before we get to the “how-to-make” part, what is sorbet anyway? Like ice cream and gelato, sorbet also falls under the frozen treat category. But the former two contain a milk base while sorbet has no added dairy whatsoever (that would be “sherbet”, which is basically a combination of sorbet and milk). Sorbet’s primary ingredients mainly consist of fruit, sugar and water where they are typically churned in an ice cream maker.
What Makes A Good Sorbet
As easy as the few ingredients you only need to make a sorbet, some of us might be sceptical about using sugar. According to Serious Eats, adding sugar isn’t just about sweetening the sorbet but also helping to form its structure. This is especially true for traditional sorbet, which typically has more sugar in it because it makes it more scoopable even when frozen and also has a softer consistency.
The other important thing is picking the best fruit you can find in the supermarket, market or fruit shop. When you have the best fruit in your hand, say sweet berries, they can help make a lot of difference to determine the overall fruity taste of your sorbet.
How To Make Sorbet Without An Ice Cream Maker
Okay, we are finally here for the thing that matters the most: How to make sorbet at home? And more importantly, can you make them without an ice cream maker? The answer is yes because let’s face it, not many average households would generally invest in an ice cream maker. Of course, just because this sorbet recipe doesn’t require an ice cream maker, you still need something to blend all the ingredients. That means you would need at least a good blender (preferably the heavy-duty variety) or a food processor.
Since sorbet requires a sweetener (i.e. sugar), the best and easiest way to add it in is by using a simple sugar syrup. Here’s how: Start by combining around 226g of white sugar and 500ml of water in a pot and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool completely and in case you are not using it immediately, pour the sugar syrup into a glass container and place it in the fridge.
Now, for the sorbet:
- 3-4 cups of fresh fruits of your choice (e.g. strawberries, watermelon or mangoes)
- 3-4 tablespoons of sugar syrup (if you prefer a more natural sweetener, you can substitute it with 2 tablespoons of raw honey)
- 1 cup of water
- 1-4 tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)
Wash and dry the fruit. Then, cut them into small cubes or bite-sized pieces (except for the likes of berries, given their sizes). Spread the cut fruits evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the freezer and let the fruits freeze until completely solid. It should take around 3-4 hours but you can choose to freeze them overnight.
Next, place the frozen fruits into a blender or a food processor. Add sugar syrup/raw honey and/or lemon juice before pulsing everything until smooth. Transfer your homemade sorbet into a bowl and serve immediately while the texture is still soft. Otherwise, store them in the freezer using a freeze-safe container and cover it until you are ready to eat. According to The Kitchn, homemade sorbet that is kept in the freezer can last around a month before they become “overly icy”.