Rhubarb sorbet flavoured with vanilla, tastes every bit as good as it looks. This pretty sorbet is one your family and friends will all enjoy.
Rhubarb sorbet is a delicious dessert, and the vibrant pink colour has that show shopping quality to it.
We first served this rhubarb and vanilla sorbet at one of our Supperclubs, alongside a rhubarb and custard layered dessert. It went down a storm with all our diners.
That said, our rhubarb and vanilla sorbet doesn’t need to be served alongside a dessert. Scoop this into a bowl and it can be the star of the show all on its own!
As well as making a truly delicious dessert, rhubarb and vanilla sorbet makes an excellent palatte cleanser between courses, if you are hosting a dinner party with friends.
Rhubarb is one of those fruits that divides people. I’m firmly on the side of those that love rhubarb. I look forward to the arrival of the vibrant pink stems of new season rhubarb every spring.
Rhubarb is a really tart stalk, so pair it with sweeter flavours to balance out the sourness. Vanilla, strawberry, mango and ginger are all delicious when paired with sharp sour rhubarb.
How to make sorbet by hand – recipe steps:
We have been asked a lot by readers “how do you make sorbet by hand”. Although we both have ice cream machines, we wanted to show how easy it is to make rhubarb sorbet without one.
The critical points for making sorbet by hand are, firstly, ensure the rhubarb syrup is super smooth before you start. Secondly, take time to break up the sorbet at regular intervals once you start the freezing process.
The images below take you through the process step by step.
- Look out all your ingredients.
- Trim the rhubarb stalks and cut into piece and juice the lemon.
- Place the rhubarb into a saucepan along with the vanilla extract, glucose syrup, caster sugar and water.
- Bring the rhubarb to the boil, then reduce to a simmer to soften (approx 10 minutes for young thin stalks, a little longer for older stalks).
- Once soft place the rhubarb into a blender and blitz to a smooth puree.
- Pass the rhubarb puree through a fine sieve placed over a bowl. This will take time as you want to save as much syrup as you can.
- Discard the fibrous fruit left in the sieve.
- Add the lemon juice and vodka if using. Taste the syrup, it will be on the sweet side but this will balance out once frozen. Set aside to cool completely.
How to make sorbet by hand:
- Pour the mixture into a container suitable for the freezer. We recommend a metal tin or large plastic container.
- Place the sorbet into the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and mix with a fork to break up any ice crystals that are forming. Return to the freezer.
- Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes for 3-4 hours. After that time the sorbet should be smooth.
- Cover the sorbet and store in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
Recipe ingredients and substitutions:
- Rhubarb flavours this sorbet and the younger the stems, the pinker they tend to be and this will affect the colour. You could also use a blend of rhubarb and strawberry or rhubarb and mango. Just ensure that the overall weight of fruit used remains the same.
- Vanilla extract adds extra flavour to the sorbet. If you do not like the flavour of vanilla you can leave it out.
- Glucose syrup helps with the final texture of the sorbet by reducing the amount of ice crystals that form, giving a smoother texture. It can be bought in most supermarkets, we used Dr. Otker in this recipe. You could substitute with golden syrup if you cannot find glucose.
- Lemon juice is added to balance the sweetness in the sorbet with a little sourness, stopping the sorbet from becoming too sweet. You can substitute the lemon juice for orange juice.
- Vodka has no taste value, but stops the sorbet from crystallising (see below). Adding vodka is entirely optional. You could also add gin if you wanted the flavour to carry through into the sorbet. Remove alcohol entirely if serving to children!
How to stop sorbet from crystallising?
The glucose syrup reduces the amount of ice crystals from forming therefore, gives the sorbet a creamier texture. The syrup also stops the sorbet from freezing to a “rock hard” state which is important when it comes to serving.
Alcohol also reduces the chances of the sorbet reaching a completely frozen state. We have added Vodka to our recipe as it is flavourless, therefore, will add no taste to the sorbet. It is entirely optional and you can leave it out if you wish.
Useful hints and tips:
- If you have an ice-cream machine then use that instead of preparing this by hand. Pop the sorbet mixture into the bowl of your machine and churn for the amount of time recommended in the manufacturers instructions.
- Rhubarb sorbet is a great make ahead dish so it’s an ideal dessert to serve up when you have family and friends coming for dinner. Once covered and placed in the freezer, this sorbet will keep for up to 1 month.
- Remove the sorbet from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving, this allows it to soften a little and will make it easier to scoop into portions.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try some of our other delicious recipes:
- Blood Orange Sorbet
- Rhubarb & Custard Layered Dessert
- Baked Nectarines with Hazelnuts & Yogurt
- Easy Rhubarb Crumble
- Rhubarb Frangipane Tart
- Rhubarb & Ginger Clafoutis
- Blackberry Parfait
- 750 g rhubarb (trimmed)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp glucose syrup
- 150 g caster sugar
- 100 ml water
- 1 lemon (juice only)
- 1 tbsp vodka (optional, remove if serving to children)
- Trim the rhubarb stalks and chop into 1cm pieces. Place in a saucepan along with the vanilla, glucose syrup, caster sugar and water.
- Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer to soften. This should take about 10 minutes for young thin stalks – allow a bit more time for older, thicker stems. You want the rhubarb to be completely soft to allow so that it can be pulsed in a blender.
- Remove the rhubarb mixture from the heat, place into a large blender (taking care as the mixture will be hot) and blitz to a fine puree.
- Pass the puree in small amounts through a very fine sieve over a bowl. This will take time, you want to extract as much of the syrup as you can. Discard the fibrous fruit left in the sieve. At this point the syrup will look thick but it will settle and the colour will intensify.
- Add the lemon juice and vodka if using. Taste the syrup, it should be on the sweeter side as once frozen the sweetness will reduce. Now cover the syrup and allow it to cool completely.
- Pour the mixture into a container that will house the sorbet. We recommend a metal loaf tin as it makes mixing the sorbet easier.
- Place the sorbet into the freezer. At 30-45 minute intervals, remove the sorbet from the freezer and mix with a fork to break up any ice crystals that are forming. This will take 3-4 hours. After that time, cover the sorbet and store in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
- When ready to enjoy, remove from the freezer 5-10 minutes before scooping and serving.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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