The 10 best sorbet recipes to make with an ice cream machine
Have an ice cream maker that you need to put to good use? Fill your hot summer day with some easy and refreshing sorbet desserts. These easy sorbet recipes are healthy-ish and can be made with simple ingredients. They are perfect for a Cuisinart machine or any other ice cream maker you have at home.
If you love sorbet, you're going to be as obsessed as am I with all these recipes! These ten easy and scrumptious sorbet recipes are made in an ice cream machine. There are lots of creative recipes in this post including fruit-based recipes, boozy recipes, and even one with coconut.
All these sorbet recipes are perfect to eat as a frozen summer treat. But, the beauty of sorbet is that it's also fancy enough to serve at a dinner party to impress your guests.
What Is Sorbet?
It's important to know what sorbet is and how it differs from ice cream.
Sorbet isn't technically classified as ice cream because there is no milkfat present. Instead, you can think of it as vegan ice cream.
Sorbet is made up of sugar, cold water, and fruit purée or fruit juice. Sometimes wine or liqueur are also added to the recipe. It's then churned and frozen in an ice cream maker.
There are sweet sorbets and herb or vegetable-based sorbets. Savory sorbets are usually served as a first course or a palate refresher in between courses. Sweet sorbets, on the other hand, are typically served as dessert.
A really important part of making sorbet is having the correct ratio of sugar, water, and fruit. Too much sugar will result in a soft and syrupy sorbet, while too little sugar results in a grainy, firmer consistency.
Let's dive a little bit deeper into the ingredients used in a classic sorbet to help you gain more understanding of the science behind these recipes.
Sugar: Sugar is a main ingredient in sorbet, and it is responsible for sweetening the dessert and providing a creamy texture. The amount of sugar in a sorbet recipe really depends on the type of fruit you use. For example, lemon juice will require more added sugar than strawberries.
There are different methods to check that you have enough sugar in your sorbet including using a refractometer, floating an egg in the sorbet base, or using a sugar concentration ratio. Once you've practiced making sorbet, you'll begin to get a feel for the correct amount of sugar.
It's also important to talk about the types of sugar found in sorbet recipes. Some call for sugar syrup (similar to the simple syrup we use in cocktails), while others use corn syrup. Serious Eats has an informative article that breaks down the benefits of each type of sugar.
Other sugar substitutes such as honey, agave, and maple syrup behave differently than traditional sugar and corn syrup. These are not typically recommended to use in sorbet.
Sorbet Base/Flavoring: Sorbets are usually made from a base of fruit. Fruits like mango, strawberry, or peaches work really well for flavorful sorbets.
You also have the option to flavor your sorbet with some wine or liqueur.
Additionally, herbs or vegetables can be used to replace the fruit in a sorbet recipe for a savory, palate-cleansing recipe.
Water: Water is the final component of sorbet. It's an important ingredient because it helps the mixture to freeze so it becomes a frozen treat. Different amounts of water will need to be added to a recipe depending on how much water is present in the fruit.
As always, these basic ingredients can be manipulated and transformed to create new recipes. This list of ingredients just includes the basics to help you get started.
10 Homemade Sorbet Recipes
1. Orange Limoncello
This sorbet recipe is made with limoncello liqueur, freshly squeezed orange juice, plus some lemon zest and juice. If you're looking for a light and refreshing sorbet, this citrus sorbet is perfect! This recipe can be eaten as a dessert or used as a palate cleanser in between courses. Only four ingredients are needed!
2. Strawberry Mojito
Meet the ultimate summer sorbet! Made with fresh strawberries, mint, citrusy lime, and a splash of rum, this strawberry mojito sorbet boasts an ultra creamy, velvety texture. Plus, this recipe only requires a few ingredients. It couldn't be easier to make, and it requires less than 30 minutes of hands-on time.
During the dead of summer, this peach sorbet recipe is the perfect treat! All you need is four ingredients, including ripe and juicy peaches. This original recipe is a very simple dessert that still highlights the beauty of the peaches without masking them under other flavors.
4. Watermelon Basil
Make a delicious sorbet with leftovers from your herb garden! Basil and watermelon sorbet combines two perfect flavors. Optionally add in some booze (Chambord and vodka) for a delicious and refreshing summer treat.
5. Peach Thyme with Bourbon
Nothing screams summer louder than the flavor of juicy, ripe peaches. This sorbet recipe celebrates peaches with some added citrus, thyme, and bourbon flavors. The alcohol from the bourbon evaporates leaving only the flavor. However, should you wish to omit that, substitute water for the amount of bourbon listed in the recipe.
6. Pineapple Mango
Need a tropical treat? Try this simple combination of fresh fruit. Pineapple and mango are mixed with a hint of lime. You'll only need four total ingredients for this delicious recipe. If you're feeling extra fancy or need to impress guests at a party, serve the sorbet in a pineapple.
Need a super easy sorbet recipe? This would be a great beginner Cuisinart ice cream maker recipe. You'll just need one type of fruit - raspberries - for this refreshing treat. It's a great, healthy-ish recipe that can help cool you down in the summer.
8. Gin Rickey
Gin Rickey is definitely a refreshing and light cocktail. If you're unfamiliar, it's light-tasting gin, coupled with mineral water and some lime juice. Try a fun twist on this cocktail by turning it into a sorbet.
Typically, sorbet is made from fruit or fruit juice. However, you can enjoy this fun twist! The sorbet mixture is made with coconut water, coconut cream, and coconut milk. The best part about this sorbet is how silky smooth it is!
This mango sorbet is perfectly soft and creamy. It's a great summer treat to keep you cool. Using a blender and ice cream machine, you’ll get the perfect sorbet consistency. This is the perfect recipe to use up overly ripe mangos.
Ice Cream Machines For Sorbet
While there are sorbet recipes out there that can be made with ice cube trays and a food processor, high-quality sorbet comes from churning it in an ice cream machine.
Ice cream makers are a great tool for home chefs to have in their kitchen, especially if you love making frozen treats. There are many ice cream makers on the market, but these are two favorite machines for sorbet:
- Whynter Compressor Ice Cream Maker: This machine has a compressor freezer, which makes it ideal if you want to churn multiple batches of sorbet in a row. This machine can get as cold as -31°F. It's easy to get sorbet with creamy texture using this machine. Be sure to check out more pros and cons of the Whynter Ice Cream Maker.
- Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart makes a very space efficient and affordable ice cream machine for anyone looking to start making homemade frozen desserts. The one downside to this machine is the frozen freezer bowl that helps the sorbet base freeze. It needs to be placed in the freezer 24 hours before you want to churn any sorbet recipe. Be sure to check out more pros and cons of the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.
Each ice cream machine churns a little differently, so make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best outcome.
In addition to an ice cream maker, you'll also want to purchase a freezer container that you can store your freshly churned sorbet in. Sorbet comes out of the ice cream machine in a similar texture to soft serve. It needs time to harden up in the freezer.