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How to Make Homemade Sorbet With & Without a Machine

by Liam Williams
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Sorbet is the perfect summer treat for anyone old or young. Unlike ice cream, It’s super easy to make at home with or without a machine, it’s lower in fat, higher in natural vitamins & minerals, and arguably more refreshing on hot days. 

Here I’ll take you through the three simple ingredients that make up a perfect sorbet, how to make and store said sorbet both with and without an ice cream machine, as well as 3 simple sorbet recipes to try this summer. All the products on this page will also assist your sorbet 

Sorbet Vs Other Frozen Desserts

frozen fruit dessert

Ice cream is the behemoth of all frozen desserts being both full of fat and sugar. On the other hand, no one eats ice cream for its benefits. If you’re conscious about your health, there are a couple of better alternatives to go for. 

Compared to ice cream, frozen yogurt has significantly less sugar, but a similar fat content (unless you go for low fat). Sorbet is very low in fat, many containing absolutely none. Where sorbet falls short is its high sugar content which you can’t do much about being that fruits are naturally high in sugar. 

Sherbet is another very similar frozen dessert to sherbet, except sherbet has to contain at least 2% dairy. 

2 Ingredient Sorbet

cantaloupe hanging from a bush

Sorbet uses two very simple and cheap ingredients that only require minimal preparation. The first is any fruit of your choosing, and the second is sugar. 

Sugar is an essential ingredient as freezing will dull the natural sweetness of the fruit. You’ll also need to prep your sugar by making a simple syrup that ensures that it doesn’t crystallize in the freezer. To make a simple sugar syrup simply melt sugar in water in equal parts over the stove then transfer to a bottle or jar and cool. 

Sugar syrups infused with herbs, chilies, and other ingredients are a great way to infuse notes of flavor. 

Adding 1-2 tablespoons of vodka to the fruit blend before freezing it to ensure it doesn’t crystallize and solidify to the point that it becomes a struggle to scoop. 

Best Fruit For Sorbet

This is a loaded question because there is no ‘best fruit’ for sorbet. Some are definitely easier to use, some fruits being more fibrous or having bigger seeds. Some of the easiest fruits to start with are melons, raspberries, and peaches. 

Citrus juice is a good thing to add to any flavor of sorbet even if it’s just a few teaspoons of lemon juice to add some tartness and smoothen the sorbet mixture. 2 pounds of fruit should be enough for 1 quart of ice cream. 

How to make Sorbet With a Machine

sorbet in an ice cream machine

What an ice cream machine does is it cools and churns the mixture. Churning incorporates air into the cream or fruit mixture which increases the volume. The amount of air incorporated into the frozen mixture is called overrun; sorbet typically has little to no overrun. 

You don’t need to pre-freeze fruits when you’re using a machine, all you need to do is place the fruit of your choice into a blender, transfer it to a sieve, and separate the juice from the pulp and seeds.

Add ½ a cup of syrup to the juice and a touch of lemon juice then add the juice to the ice cream machine and turn it on for 15-20 minutes.

At this point it’ll be in the soft serve stage, of course, you can eat it then, but if you want it to set a bit more, place it into an airtight container and freeze for a few hours until solid. 

How to make Sorbet Without a Machine

To start sorbet, depending on the fruit you’re using, prep the fruits by peeling, deseeding, then diving into 1-inch cubes. Place the fruit into the freezer until frozen solid before continuing to the next step.

Once frozen, get a food processor, or a blender, or a large bowl (if you’re using an immersion blender), add the frozen fruit, ½ a cup of the simple syrup, and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Blend until smooth (at least 3-4 minutes), transfer to a bowl or carton, then place into the freezer.

Every hour or so go back to the sorbet and mix it around to loosen it and incorporate some air. The sorbet should be ready to serve and eat in 5-6 hours but sets best overnight.

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