I started out making rhubarb strawberry granita. Forgetting that granita should be a “semi-frozen” dessert, I tasted it when it was just short of being solidly frozen. The icy, crystallized flakes of crimson fruit brought sighs of disappointment. Fortunately they also inspired creativity. I put the entire, and now slightly softened mixture, into the food processor and gave it a spin. Transformation into a lighter, creamier and tastier Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet took place before my eyes and on my palate. Now we had a light and luscious dessert as refreshing as spring.
Dairy-free yet creamy rich
Easily made at home, sorbet contains puréed fresh fruit (or juice), water and sweetener. While not necessary to cook the fruit for a sorbet, with fresh rhubarb it’s essential. And the tartness of rhubarb and early spring strawberries require a bit extra sweetener. For Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet, I’ve replaced the large amounts of refined white sugar that often accompany anything rhubarb with frozen apple juice concentrate. Taste the sorbet after you’ve given it a whirl in the processor. Add additional sweetener, if necessary, to taste.
Quite the treat
Smooth textured and richly flavored Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet makes a cool and refreshing vegan and gluten-free treat. I can already see myself making other fresh fruit sorbets. Making them with berries and stone fruits as spring turns into summer—and using both fresh and frozen fruits during the fall and winter.
What are your favorite fruits for sorbet?
Do you use an ice cream maker? How long does it take to freeze sorbet in your ice cream maker?
Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet
Apple-juice sweetened, vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free.
Sorbet can be made and frozen the same day or even up to a few days before you plan to serve it. Allow it to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. This softens it sufficiently to serve as is or to whirl it in the food processor for a creamier consistency.
Alternatively, using an ice cream maker both reduces the freezing time and eliminates the need for a final spin in a food processor.
Makes 7 cups
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 4+ hours
6 ounces frozen apple juice concentrate
¾ pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (3¼ cups)
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled, cut into ¼-inch slices (3½ cups), plus a few saved for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice (1 teaspoon regular lemon juice)
- Place the apple juice concentrate and ¾ cup water in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rhubarb. When the liquid comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the rhubarb 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat.
- While the rhubarb is cooling, slice the strawberries.
- Use a blender to purée the rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice till smooth.
- Transfer the sorbet to a baking dish. The larger the baking dish the faster the sorbet will freeze. I use a 7½ x 12½ inch oval baking dish.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put it into the freezer.
- After 1 hour, use a rubber spatula to break up any frozen chunks and stir them into the middle of the dish. Return to the freezer. Repeat in one hour. Repeat a few more times until the sorbet is almost frozen through.
- Break up the frozen sorbet with a fork and/or a spatula into small chunks. Transfer them to a food processor. Blend the sorbet using the pulse button at first, until the texture becomes smooth and creamy.
- Serve in glasses, perhaps garnished with a few slices of strawberry or a sprig of fresh mint.