Gluten-free, Naturally: Homemade Peach Sorbet with Fresh Berries

Patient Expert
PJ Hamel

Summer’s here, and it’s time to churn out some warm-weather desserts — like ice cream!

To give homemade ice cream the smooth, creamy texture we expect, an electric ice cream maker is a must. But gluten-free, dairy-free sorbet is easily “churned” using simply a bowl and fork. Packed with the nutritional goodness of fresh fruit, it’s a naturally delicious way to end any meal.

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Gather these ingredients:

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

About 3 cups sliced peeled peaches (about 1 pound), fresh or frozen/thawed

About 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon)

1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional

2 tablespoons vodka, rum, or peach brandy, optional

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and salt. Simmer the syrup gently for five minutes without stirring. Remove the pan from the heat, and set the syrup aside to cool. This step can be done well ahead.

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Using a food processor, blender, or hand blender, purée the sliced peaches with the lemon juice and cooled syrup. Stir in the almond extract.

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Place the mixture in an ungreased 9” round cake pan. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered.

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Once the sorbet has begun to set (about two hours), use a fork to mix the purée in the pan, scraping the crusty edges into the center.

Continue to stir with a fork every hour or so, until the mixture is frozen but not rock-hard. Transfer it back to the food processor or blender. For sorbet that stays nicely scoop-able in the freezer, stir in the optional liquor. Process briefly, just until smooth.

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Spoon the sorbet into an airtight lidded container, and place it in the freezer to harden; this will take about four to six hours. If you haven’t used any alcohol, remove it from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving, to soften. Serve with fresh berries and sliced peaches, if desired.

Yield: A generous 3 cups sorbet.

Note: Want to freeze this sorbet in your electric ice cream maker? Go right ahead. Just be sure to thoroughly chill the peach purée (preferably overnight) before freezing it in the ice cream maker.

Photo credits: PJ Hamel

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