May 31 2016

A Frozen Toast to Summer: Sugar-Free Sorbet


Summer is coming. The weather is getting warmer. It’s almost time to linger late outside talking, time to stay at the beach until the sun slips to the edge of the sky,  and time to have picnics in parks. Set out the spoons, bring out the bowls, insulate a cooler with ice. It’s time to spin sorbet.

Sorbet is a sweet delight that doesn’t have to be a full-sugar, indulgent, treat. It’s light and fruity and there is a way to make it so you can enjoy it exactly that way. Save your decadent dessert days for something seriously sweet; enjoy a slice of Opera cake, visit your favorite macaron shop, go with glee to get a cupcake. Make sugar-free sorbet to enjoy a dessert that’s more balanced and a healthy and yummy choice, instead of the full-sugar original. It’ll still be something sweet you can savor that’s refreshing and light so you can still feel fit to lead.

Sorbet is basically sugar, water and fruit. You make simple syrup, combine it with the prepared fruit and process it. Making your own sugar-free simple syrup doesn’t yield ideal results. Instead of heating, sugar substitutes are dissolved with water to make simple syrup. The results may be OK for cocktails but sorbet requires something more viscous. The syrup professionals can do what Splenda and your stovetop do not. Torani, whose syrups you may recognize from your favorite local coffee shop, as well as Monin, both make sugar-free simple syrup. It’s a little more vicious than Torani’s and slightly better suited for making sorbet. Both are available online at Amazon.

Once you have the basic method down, you can make just about any fruity flavor you can fathom. These three recipes all celebrate summer coming. They are festive, fun flavors to toast the season. These are great choices for graduations, bridal showers, festive house parties or anything else you might be raising a glass to this summer.  Tangerine prosecco toasts the poised promise of warmer weather, raspberry rosé raises a spoon to summer and grapefruit Campari sorbetto cheers the coming season with sweet citrus.

These three flavors are a delightful, delicious, tasty, tangy, tart trio to serve up side-by-side in a sweet medley.  Each is just as lovely to enjoy scooped up solo. Tangerine prosecco is a refreshing, tangy, citrus burst rich with the orange notes of tangerine and still light from the prosecco, like a mimosa sorbet. Raspberry rosé couldn’t be a better way to welcome summer with two-fold twist of summertime signature flavors folding together fully perfectly so playfully on the palate. Grapefruit Campari sorbetto is so refreshing, temptingly tart to tease your taste buds with just the right balance of sweet citrus, it kind of reminds me of a very fresh, fruity, flavorful version of the penny candy sour gummies I used to buy with my brother at beach every August when we were very little kids. It’s just delicious in one perfect spoonful with the slightly sweeter raspberry rosé.

 The Recipes

 Tangerine Prosecco Sorbet

 Tip: If you’re able to get fresh tangerine juice, you can just as easily use that instead of juicing your own fruit.

 3/4 cup sugar-free simple syrup

2 cups chilled strained tangerine juice (from about 16 tangerines)

1 cup chilled Prosecco

  1. Combine the strained tangerine juice, Prosecco and sugar free simple syrup; whisk to blend well.
  2. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Transfer sorbet to freezer container. Cover tightly with lid and freeze until firm.


Raspberry Rosé Sorbet


Tip: You can substitute frozen raspberries.

 3/4 cup sugar-free simple syrup

1 bottle (750 ml) rosé

3 cups raspberries

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the to a boil.
  2. Once it reaches a boil, add the syrup.
  3.  Return to a boil and let boil for 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.
  5. Put the mixture into a blender to purée the berries.
  6. To remove the seeds, using a rubber spatula, press the mixture through a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  8. Once well chilled, freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Store in an air-tight container.

 Grapefruit Campari Sorbetto

 Campari made with a secret mixture of herbs and bark and has some citrus notes of its own. The bitterness really intensifies and also compliments the natural grapefruit flavor. This yields a brilliantly balanced tangy sorbet that’s not even a little bitter. It compliments the other two flavors beautifully. If you have a super sweet tooth or if you’ve never said “yes” a Sour Patch Kid, increase the stevia to 1 1/2 cups.

 4 cups fresh grapefruit juice (from about 5 large grapefruits), strained and chilled

1 cup stevia

3/4 cup Campari, chilled

  1. In a blender, combine the grapefruit juice and stevia, and blend on low until the stevia is dissolved.
  2. Add the Campari, then pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine, and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and finishing freezing.


Raise a spoon. Cheers to warmer weather, to the beach, to road trips, to eating outside, and to summer.


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