Today was hot, humid and horrible – the perfect weather to forgo cooking of any kind and eat healthified ice cream instead. With a lot of fruit, a little yogurt, and a dash of cream, it’s the nutritional equivalent of fruit salad. But it’s the taste equivalent of a creamy fruit gelato, and it takes just two minutes to make – which is faster than I’ve ever managed to make fruit salad.
For this sherbet, I used equal parts wild juneberries, strawberries, and pear sauce. Juneberries have small, almond-flavored seeds that add a nice texture to this smooth dessert.
If you don’t have access to juneberries (also sold commercially as saskatoons or serviceberries), you can substitute blueberries, pitted cherries, or a mix of the two. You can also play with the proportions, but keep juneberries or blueberries to one-third or less of the total volume. If you use more than that, the sherbet can get a gelatinous texture that I don’t find appealing (although your milage may vary).
Pear sauce and applesauce do equally well in this recipe. Pear sauce generally imparts a subtler flavor when mixed with other fruits, and apple gives a slightly tarter, zippier kick. I keep frozen cubes of each on hand all summer for instant ice creams.
Wild Berry Sherbet
Take a jar of pear sauce or applesauce and pour it into an ice cube tray. Freeze.
For 1 or 2 servings
- ⅔ cup frozen strawberries
- ⅔ cup frozen juneberries
- ⅔ cup frozen, unsweetened pear or applesauce cubes
- 1½ tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Put everything in a blender or food processor (see my previous post for thoughts on blenders) and turn to high power following your blender manufacturer’s instructions. Use the blender’s tamper to force the ingredients into the blades as it blends. If your blender doesn’t have a tamper, turn the power off every 15 seconds to prod the chunks toward the blades and the smooth stuff away with a wood or plastic spoon. Remove the spoon, put the lid back on and star the motor up again. Blend until smooth (30 seconds to a minute in a Vitamix), but don’t overblend or it will start to melt.
Scrape from the blender when it’s about the consistency of soft-serve. I use an ice cream scoop to make it pretty. If you want a firmer ice cream, stick your ice cream scoops in the freezer for a few minutes before serving.