Rhubarb sorbet

March 26, 2011 § 7 Comments

I know, I know. Another rhubarb recipe? But I just love the stuff so much. I dream about growing my own rhubarb to have it come back every spring. I think about recipes and how to adapt them to add rhubarb. I dread the end of rhubarb season. And so far, rhubarb has proven itself worthy of my adoration, since everything I’ve experimented so far has turned out great.

I admit that I forgot about this experiment for a while; I fell sick from stress and well, freezers, or at least mine, have a tendency to absorb their contents, neatly hiding them behind a bag of frozen peas or tucked underneath a batch of frozen scones. Nevermind all that though, because the pièce de résistance of my triumphant triumvirate of rhubarb experimentation resulted in a no-churn sorbet for those of us without ice cream-and-sorbet machines. Which is probably most of us, actually.

Anyway, it basically combines the rhubarb compote recipe from early 2011, plus some vodka — the theory being that vodka doesn’t freeze solid, or something like that, it was a while ago, after all — plus a bit of extra sugar and some clementine zest (a sprinkle of zest turns it from tasty sorbet to fancy dessert, but it’s optional). I stuck the whole thing in a loaf pan from Ikea as it fit the freezer door’s proportions perfectly, stirred it up a day later, and then re-covered it, and forgot about it till a few days ago. It is delicious if you like rhubarb — tart and sweet and cold, with a texture halfway between fruit popsicle and sorbet.

I suppose if you don’t like rhubarb you could easily replace the compote with one of your choosing. Have fun with it!

Rhubarb sorbet

Makes approximately three cups sorbet


  • Two cups rhubarb compote (about 12 ounces, or half the compote recipe)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup good-quality vodka (I used Grey Goose)
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest (optional)

1. Make compote if you haven’t already; let cool.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and vodka until sugar is dissolved. Stir in compote until thoroughly combined. Stir in zest if desired.

3. Pour sorbet mixture into a freezer-safe loaf pan (aluminum works fine). Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze at least four hours or until top layer is frozen, or close to it.

4. Remove sorbet from freezer and stir, making sure to get the bottom unfrozen layer mixed through the more frozen top layer. Cover with the foil again, and freeze at least four hours or until desired sorbet-y texture.

Note: Sorbet keeps at least a few weeks in the freezer. I forgot about mine for a month so assuming you keep a box of baking soda to absorb weird odors in your freezer it’s probably fine.


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