This strawberry rhubarb sorbet is intensely flavored, silky smooth and refreshing. With only a few ingredients, this naturally dairy-free, vibrant treat comes together quickly and easily!
What Is Sorbet?
Sorbet is the simplest kind of frozen dessert. Basically, it’s frozen water and sugar but is almost always flavored, usually with fruit. Some recipes call for fruit juice, but here we’re going to use whole fruit. Use the freshest and as perfectly ripe possible – the fruit flavor is the star here so make sure it’s good quality.
Sorbet, also called sorbetto or sherbet depending where you live, relies on sugar for two reasons: the first is the obvious sweetness we often expect in desserts. The second is for consistency. Sugar lowers the freezing point of the water (or juice) so that the sorbet is soft, easily scooped and has a really nice melty mouthfeel.
Tips for Making Sorbet
Don’t reduce the sugar. Less sugar means more ice crystals will form which means you may end up with a giant ice cube that is rock hard and impossible to scoop. We could get science-y and add in some gums, but we’re going for simplicity here and enjoying this sweet treat for what it is.
Using whole fruit is great for flavor as well as creating a smooth, soft sorbet. The natural pectins and fiber in fruit create viscosity and thickness because they interfere with freezing. It’s easier to scoop sorbet which has fewer ice crystals. Adding in a bit of lemon juice helps draw the pectin out of the fruit, and adds some acidity to round out the flavor.
Don’t skip the salt! Salt really adds something to sorbet. It tempers the sweetness while enhancing the flavors. It won’t stand out on it’s own, so don’t worry that the sorbet will taste salty because it won’t!
If you have an ice cream maker, I recommend digging it out. It isn’t critical but it does incorporate air into the fruit base which gives the sorbet a lighter body making it nicer to scoop and a more lush melt-in-your-mouth experience.
How To Store and Serve Sorbet
Once frozen, sorbet tastes best for the first day or two. That said, it can last in the freezer for up to a couple of weeks before developing frost and losing moisture. Store the sorbet in a well sealed container to prevent it from absorbing other freezer aromas. Keep it away from the freezer door so it doesn’t go through temperature changes causing slight melting and refreezing.
When you’re ready to scoop your homemade strawberry rhubarb sorbet, dip your ice cream scoop in a glass of very hot water, dry slightly with a towel and then scoop. The heat helps create beautiful, smooth, glossy scoops!
If you try this Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet, be sure to let me know in the comments below and give it a rating in the recipe card! I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. You can follow along with me on Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for reading along!
Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet
- 2 lbs rhubarb, leaves removed, washed and chopped into 1/2" pieces
- 1 lb strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Cook just until the rhubarb softens, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and purée in a blender or with an immersion blender. If using a blender, do so in batches so the mixture doesn't overflow and burn you.
- At this point, you can either strain the purée by pressing it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remaining fibers, or you can refrigerate it it straight away in a sealed container. If your rhubarb is older and fibrous, or if you don't want the odd streak of unblended fruit, then straining is for you. Otherwise, straining isn't necessary.
- Chill the purée for 2-3 hours, or until cold. Pour into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer it to a 9"x5" loaf pan and freeze until firm and scoopable, about 3 hours. To serve, dip an ice cream scoop into a cup of very hot water, wipe dry and then scoop. Store in a sealed container in the freezer away from the door for up to 2 weeks.