Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Flatlay of strawberry rhubarb sorbet scoops in a rectangular pan beside a dish of fresh strabwerries and some ice cream cones

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.

Sorbet swirled in a loaf pan, just before being scooped

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.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet in loaf pan with 3 scoops sitting ready to be served beside a few fresh strawberries

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.

Side view of a loaf pan of strawberry rhubarb sorbet with 3 scoops ready to be served, beside some cones and fresh strawberries

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!

3 small white bowls with scoops of strawberry rhubarb sorbet

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!

Flatlay of strawberry rhubarb sorbet scoops in a rectangular pan beside a dish of fresh strabwerries and some ice cream cones

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

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!
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: Sherbet, Sorbet, Vegan Dessert
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling and Freezing: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg

Notes:

Sorbet can be made without an ice cream maker. It will be just as delicious, but not as light in texture.
 
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4 thoughts on “Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

  1. Followed instructions exactly and it was simply wonderful. I appreciated the “why” instructions about the ingredients — explained why my sorbets in the past had wrong texture (ice crystals, lacking the silkiness due to cutting too much on sugar). This stopped my guests in their tracks. The ratio of rhubarb to strawberry is perfect – both flavors come thru. Had more mix than my tiny ice cream freezer would hold, and realized what a great base for a daiquiri this probably would be. Or a strawberry rhubarb margherita?

    1. Hi Jeanne, thank you for the lovely feedback! I’m so happy you and your guests enjoyed the sorbet! Love the idea to use the base for a daiquiri or margherita. I’ll have to give that a try next time! Thanks again, Bronwyn

  2. This didn’t work for me. My rhubarb was more green than pink so I didn’t get a lovely color, in fact it looked brown and awful. I wouldn’t have cared if it tasted good but the flavor was quite muddied. And there was no way to strain the puree, way too thick. I haven’t put it through the ice cream maker yet as I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Chilling the mixture for the time being while trying to decide how to save it since it took an entire harvest of my rhubarb plant and I’d hate for it to go to waste. Any ideas what went wrong here? Used good strawberries too, and I see in other recipes the strawberries are not cooked before blending with the rhubarb. Maybe that’s a better way to go.

    1. Hi Deb! Sorry you’re experiencing some frustration here. Rhubarb comes in different varieties – some are bold red and have a more intense + tart flavor, while others have greener stalks and less flavor + tartness (they’re more bland). It sounds like you may have the latter – this in turn will impact the sorbet’s flavor and color. Another thought is the type of pot you’re using to cook it in – using aluminium (instead of anodized or non-stick aluminium), iron or copper pans can cause a reaction with the fruit and turn it more of a brownish color. And yes, the mixture will be very thick, so if you strain it, it won’t flow freely, you’ll have to press it through the sieve (with a spoon). As for cooking the strawberries, I do this for increased flavor. Cooking concentrates their flavor and creates some caramelization of their natural sugars which helps make their flavor pop. Did you make any changes to the recipe? Reducing the strawberries or increasing the rhubarb (especially if it’s not a red variety) will have a big impact on the outcome, too. I hope you enjoy it if you do end up trying to freeze it. Let me know f you have any other questions! ~ Bronwyn

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