Do you remember sherbet from your childhood? I do. Lime, pineapple, and orange were always hiding in the back of my Nana’s freezer. My favorite way to enjoy it was with 7-Up. A sherbet float was a special treat during most visits to Nana’s house. A bowl of dry roasted peanuts usually accompanied this foam-laden, fizzy concoction. It was the perfect combination—a little sweet, a little salty.
Traditional sherbet contains less milk fat than ice cream because it is made with milk not cream. Sherbet it is more like sorbet—lighter, refreshing, and with a higher ice crystal content. It’s a perfect summer dessert because it is fruit based. Likewise, it is an excellent use for that bounty of strawberries that appears in your local farmer’s market starting in late April. Add a little rhubarb, and voila! You now have the delicious frozen equivalent of strawberry rhubarb pie a la mode. In June, try blueberries or blackberries. I have yet to meet a berry that wouldn’t make a great sherbet!
This recipe is a bit more decadent than the sherbet I remember from my Nana’s freezer. Admittedly, my refined adult palate doesn’t mind a bit! Buttermilk is the key to creating a sherbet with a creamier texture and fuller flavor. Have fun with this recipe! Be adventurous! Leave the sorbet in the freezer and grab the sherbet instead!
Strawberry Rhubarb Sherbet
- 2 cups strawberries – halved
- 1 cup rhubarb – chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs. water
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Place the rhubarb, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 2 tbs. water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes or until the rhubarb starts to break down. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once rhubarb is cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place the strawberries and the other 1/2 cup of sugar in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Strain mixture to remove seeds.
- Combine strawberry puree, rhubarb, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk until incorporated.
- Add buttermilk and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Place mixture in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to chill. Once chilled, pour mixture into an ice cream machine and process as you would ice cream or sorbet. Place mixture in a plastic, freezer-safe container and place in the freezer.
***Pre-chill your container in the freezer to keep the sherbet from melting!