Jul 12, 2023
Daily Inter Lake

Sorbet Great Way To Use Fresh Fruit

By Dan Moe

Now that we’re well into summer and fruit is in full swing, let’s look at one of my favorite ways to feature the bounty: hand “churned” fresh fruit sorbet.

I say “churned” because we’re not really going to churn, but more of a whisk. If you’re like me, you appreciate no-frills, old-school approaches to doing things and countertop appliances just don’t bring the same charm to the endeavor.

For centuries before electric ice cream churners, pastry chefs to home cooks to science students have been whisking their ice creams and sorbets by hand to achieve the delicate balance of air and ice structure that melts on the tongue without forming large, unpleasant ice crystals. This is achieved by starting with a cold sorbet base, placing it in a cold container in the freezer, and whisking at regular intervals in the freezer as the base slowly freezes. This incorporates cold air while controlling the size of the ice crystals as they form.

Start by making a simple syrup: equal parts water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves. Adding some herbs or spices to your simple syrup as it cooks can add a really nice depth of flavor to the sorbet. Toss in a sprig of mint, a handful of basil, or some cardamom, allow to simmer on low for five minutes before chilling. Remove herbs from syrup before combining with fruit, to maximize the infusion. Now you’re on your way to blackberry mint, strawberry basil, or plum cardamom sorbet!

Purée your fruit any way you want, just make sure you end up with a cup of purée, which usually takes about two cups of fruit. Straining out seeds is optional, and I only find it necessary with blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Churn until you can pull a nice spoonful to your mouth without it dripping everywhere. That’s when you know it’s done!


YIELD: 3 cups churned


1 c thick fruit purée (berries, stone fruit, mango, kiwi, etc.)

½ c sugar

½ c water

2 t lemon juice


1 Combine water and sugar in pan and heat just until sugar is dissolved in water. Chill simple syrup in refrigerator until cold.

2 Purée fresh fruit with food processor, blender, stick blender or potato masher until fruit is completely smooth.

3 When simple syrup is chilled, combine with fruit purée and lemon juice and mix well. Chill overnight.

4 Place a large shallow pan in the freezer an hour before churning, making sure it can sit flat. When the pan is frozen, pour in sorbet base, whisk briefly, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

5 After 30 minutes rest, whisk sorbet in freezer again and let rest another 30 minutes. Repeat this process until you can spoon out a bite and it makes it to your mouth without dripping. Move to pre-chilled airtight container and store up to a week.