Creamy Homemade Blueberry Sorbet

 

As the heat of summer keeps . . . well . . . heating, a qucik and easy, icy cold dessert is a must.  Now, my husband and I do enjoy ice cream, but we absolutely LOVE sorbet.  Healthier, too.  I make sorbets from all sorts of different fresh fruits, many times depending on what is locally in season or that I can find organically grown.  Or even frozen, again, buying organic whenever possible.  I have been making sorbets for over 20 years now in my trusty Krups ice cream maker.  The recipe used is an adaptation of one found in the 1995 July/August edition of Cook’s Illustrated.  You should see how worn and rather fruit smudged that page is!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes

 

 

The sorbet I make the most has to be blueberry.  Not only are blueberries my all time favorite fruit, but those tiny things are packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and are touted to have all sorts of health benefits.  Plus, they taste soooo good!  Even Seamus (our Shadow Dog), loves to eat them mushed up in his food.

 

Seamus wondering, "Did you say "blueberries" in my food tonight?  Please!"

 

All of this is just a long way of saying I’m going to share my blueberry sorbet recipe with you.  But let me warn you now . . . it has a secret ingredient:  1 tablespoon of vodka!  Vodka, you ask?  Being an ex-science teacher and of an inquiring mind, I wanted to know why. Here's what I found:


We all know that water freezes at 32 degrees F / 0 degrees C.  When sugar is added to water, the freezing point is lowered; the more sugar, the lower the freezing point.  Many ice cream makers or freezers cannot harden the sorbet successfully.  The water will freeze but the fruit syrup is often left slushy in the container.  The vodka basically binds the water molecules to the syrup and causing smaller crystals to be formed.  Smaller crystals = a creamier texture to the tongue.  Using a bit of alcohol also allows you to cut down on the amount of sugar.  Only a small amount of vodka is used - you cannot taste it and the alcohol evaporates out in the churning.

 


My Krups electric ice cream maker is 22 years old and still running well.  The canister has double insulated walls and is kept in the freezer until it's ready to be used.

 

 

Without further ado, here’s my blueberry sorbet recipe:

  • 2 ½ c. of blueberries
  • ½ c. cold water
  • 1 c. sugar (if the blueberries are particularly sweet, I use less)
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP vodka

 

1. Wash the blueberries.  Puree them and the water in a blender or food processor until smooth You should have about 2 cups or so of puree.

2. Combine the blueberry puree, sugar, lemon juice and vodka in a large bowl.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  I found a wire whisk works very well  to dissolve the sugar quickly.  Hint: I use a metal bowl for the puree and set that bowl in a larger bowl that has been filled with water and crushed ice cubes.  This helps speed the freezing process in the ice cream maker.  

3. Check the temperature of the puree.  It should be no more than 40 degrees.  If it needs to cool, then refrigerate.  My puree has never needed to be refrigerated since the puree bowl is put in the larger bowl of iced water.  

4. Pour the chilled mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.  (I use a 22 year old Krups electric ice cream where the container section is constantly kept in the freezer.  I have read where hand churned sorbet does not come out as nicely)

5. Scoop frozen sorbet into a container and put into the freezer for several hours to firm up.

6. Whack husband several times with the spoon as he tries to steal sorbet from the container while you are dishing it into bowls.  Sprinkle a few whole blueberries on top, if you want, eat and enjoy (:

 

Note: I usually fresh squeeze the lemon juice but have used ReaLemon in an emergency when I forget to buy a lemon for the 1 TBSP of juice.

 

Photo courtesy of American Cupcake Life

 

If you want to try other fruits, the ingredients need to be somewhat adjusted due to the sugar content of the specific fruit.  Here are some other fruit sorbets I have made - and loved:

 

 

Grapefruit:  grate 2 tsp. zest from 2 large grapefruits and combine with 1 1/2 c. fresh squeezed juice and 1/2 c. cold water; 1 c. plus 1 TBSP sugar; 1 TBSP vodka

Lemon: grate 2 tsp. zest from 2 large lemons and combine with 1/2 c. fresh squeezed juice and 1 1/2 c. water; 1 1/4 c. sugar; 1 TBSP vodka

Lime:  see Lemon recipe above.  It takes about 5-6  limes, depending on size (I call this my "margarita" sorbet)

Mango:  peel and pit 3 large mangos, puree flesh with 1/2 c. cold water; 3/4 c. sugar; 2 TBSP lemon juice; 1 TBSP vodka

Orange:  grate 2 tsp. zest from 5 large oranges and combine with 2 c. freshly squeezed juice; 1 c. minus 1 TBSP sugar; 1 TBSP lemon juice; 1 TBSP vodka

Peach:  Peel and pit 6 medium peaches and puree flesh with 1/2 c. cold water until smooth; 1 c. minus 1 TBSP sugar; 2 TBSP lemon juice; 1 TBSP vodka

Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry:  Puree 3 c. berries with 1/2 c. cold water and strain out seeds; 1 cup sugar; 1 TBSP lemon juice; 1 TBSP vodka

Watermelon:  Puree about 2 ½ pounds of peeled watermelon; 1 cup minus 1 TBSP of sugar; 2 TBSP lemon juice; 1 TBSP vodka

 

I especially love the combination of peach and mango - almost as much as the blueberry.  The lemon and lime sorbets are perfect after a seafood meal.

 

The only fruit I tried and was disappointed with was fresh cherries.  Weird texture sorbet with all the skin and an unappetizing somewhat gray color ):  Probably should have strained the puree but would have still been put off by the color.

 
 
Watermelon sorbet.  Photo courtesy of A Sweet Pea Chef 
 

 

So there you have it, my all time favorite blueberry sorbet recipe. I find making these sorbets to be fast, easy, healthy - and, above all, very, VERY tasty.  These recipes are the creamiest sorbets I have ever made / eaten. I hope you try a recipe or two.  Enjoy!

 

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Comments

Looks so good and a cool

Looks so good and a cool dessert for the summer, thanks for sharing this recipe.

Thank you, Diane!

My pleasure, Diane! I only wish I had thought of sharing it earlier, now that summer is close to being over. But there will be plenty more hot days, I'm sure.

I feel a brain freeze coming on!!

What a great post and thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! My grands will love it. I am always looking for goodies to make for them as they live the full vegan/organic lifestyle (wish Grandma would!).
Will share this wonderful and refreshing post.

Thank you, Kathy!

Hey, I'm glad, Kathy, that the recipe will come in handy to make for your grands. Let me know how they and you like it.

Sorbet

My goodness Catherine! How in the world do you have time to do all the things you do? Sounds like you have mastered sorbet making like you have done with so many things in your life! Great post. Thank you for sharing. Great, now my mouth is watering for some of that wonderful sorbet! LOL

Thank you, Sharon!

Wish I could share some with you, Sharon! Making the sorbet is really very easy - perfect for those hot summer days there in Georgia!

YUM!

I wish I had an ice cream maker now that I have read this blog. This has to be soo good! Since I have a blueberry patch, the sorbet would be perfect! Thanks for sharing. I may have to come back to this.

Thank you, Jo!

Oh, I do miss the blueberry patch we had in Virginia, Jo - lucky you! It would be cool to make the sorbet with your own fresh picked blueberries. Let me know if you do that!

Looks delicious!

Looks delicious!

Thank you, Nancy!

The sorbet really is, Nancy! Thanks for stopping by.

Soooo yummy!

First, I need to get an ice-cream maker! Love blueberry, love sorbet. This recipe must be divine! Thanks for sharing.

Thank you, Nat!

The recipe IS divine, Nat - and so easy! I hope you do get an ice cream maker and try the recipe! Let me know of you do.

Please ship some PRONTO!!

Oh my goodness - my mouth is watering and I'm slobbering over the keyboard! The recipes sound amazing and I love the science factor you included with the reason behind adding vodka - not sure I should teach that to my students though! :)

Having a heatwave right now here this weekend - 106 today, so sorbet would be most welcome. We just might need to add an ice cream maker to our new kitchen!

Lisa

Thank you, Lisa!

Had a feeling a teacher would appreciate the science of adding vodka to the sorbet (: An ice cream make definitely would be a perfect addition to your new kitchen, Lisa. Let me know if you try the recipe.

How nice!

Wow ... Am drooling here for sorbet now! And want to hug the Moosie - how handsome, how cute ... give that doggie a big hug for me and Gonze. :) Thanks for sharing such yummy recipes, and I think you should include one or two of your gorgeous jewelry creations that would go with sorbet. :)

Yum!

Catherine, those look delicious. Seamus looks so handsome. Thank you for sharing!

Drooooooooooooling!

Oh man, you had me at blueberry but you put me over the edge with watermelon! Ah, if only I had an ice cream maker! Very tasty blog, Catherine!

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