Sorbet and sherbet are both a type of frozen dessert and are often confused as the exact same thing. But while both fruity and with names that do somewhat resemble, sorbet and sherbet are different. What distinguishes the first from the latter is one important ingredient: dairy.
If you had to choose, which would you make?
Sorbet is made with any fruit but no dairy whatsoever, while sherbet is made either with cream or with milk, which gives it a creamier texture. Therefore if you want to enjoy a richer texture with your frozen dessert, you may want to choose sherbet over sorbet, although note that neither will be as rich as ice cream.
Sherbet contains, in addition to the ingredients commonly found in ice cream, more liquid such as fruit juice or even water, which changes the texture entirely. But it is still creamier than sorbet.
On the other hand, sorbet is a great choice if you are lactose intolerant or simply prefer dairy-free frozen dessert. Sorbet is also gluten-free. And fat-free.
Making sorbet: it just takes fruit and sugar
You can make sorbet with any fruit or a combination of fruits. The summer fruits available right now at farmers’ markets and supermarkets are fantastic to turn into sorbet. Any fruit you can think of can be made into a refreshing frozen dessert with very little time invested and hardly any effort at all.
Here is a classic strawberry sorbet recipe to try. Makes about five cups.
- Puree 2 pounds of strawberries in a blender until smooth.
- Strain the pureed fruits using a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds.
- Transfer to a container and add 1 cup of sugar.
- Chill the sorbet, and then freeze in the ice cream maker, or in the freezer until completely firm.
And here are a few tips to consider if you want sorbet healthier, creative and more to your liking.
- Substitute refined sugar with honey for a healthier alternative.
- Use the ripest fruits you can find for a richer flavor and more natural sweetness.
- Add 1 tbsp vodka or 1 tbsp of your preferred liquor to enjoy a grown-up sorbet.
- Infuse with mint or other herbs and spices for more flavor.
- Make sorbet slightly more on the sweet side because freezing dulls the sweet flavor.
Commercial sorbet may contain other ingredients in addition to the fruit base and the sugar, such as water and flavorings, and in some cases acid, but they’re fantastic to try, and the flavorings are so diverse.
They’re usually found in the ice cream section in supermarkets and are quite easy to spot. Walmart carries sorbets, and so do many of the other popular supermarkets. Another place to source them is ice cream specialty shops. It’s usually where you’ll find the widest variety of flavors.
Commercial sorbet sure tastes great, but make it at home, and it should turn out just as tasty.