This Apricot Sorbet is the first thing you should make when apricots are in season. Only sweet and delicious ripened apricots which burst with flavour will do, do not try to make it with the dry and flavourless ones, because sorbets rely solely on the fruits’ quality to be awesome. You do not have to be an expert to choose the right apricots for this sorbet, just taste one or two from a batch. If they are tasty, tender and you need to lick your lips to collect the juices when you take a bite, then you are fixed.
Special Equipment needed:
Ice Cream Machine
Food processor / Blender / Immersion Hand Blender
- Freeze your removable freezer bowl for at least 24 hours before the time you plan to churn the sorbet.
- Make the sorbet base 12 hours before the time you plan to churn it.
- After churning the sorbet let it sit in the freezer for 4-5 hours, before you serve it.
This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.
- 1,000 gr fresh apricots, stones removed – from about 1,050 gr whole apricots ( about 35 ounces; from 37 ounces whole fruit )
- 150 ml water ( about 2/3 cup )
- 150 gr raw cane demerara sugar ( or regular white sugar, see footnotes ) ( about 5.3 ounces; 3/4 cup )
Step 1 – Prepare the Apricot Sorbet Mix
Cut the apricot halves in quarters and put them in a large saucepan. Add the water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil over medium to high heat. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes until the apricots have softened and become translucent.
Transfer to the food processor/ blender (or in a clean bowl if using an Immersion Hand Blender) and leave the fruit for 10 minutes to cool.
Pulse till pureed. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into a container.
There will be apricot pulp left on the sieve. Return it to the food processor or blender and pulse again for 30 seconds. Repeat with sieving the apricot puree over the container, pressing with a spatula to release as much pulp as possible through the sieve. By going through the process of sieving and pulsing twice, you make the most of the pulp.
A note about the leftover pulp:
There will be a handful of apricot pulp left in the sieve. You can discard it or taste it; if you find it to your liking, use it as a spread over butter on sourdough toast. It can be kept in the fridge, in a sealable container for up to one week.
Step 2 – Cool the Sorbet Mix
Let it come to room temperature for a couple of hours. before covering with a lid and putting in the fridge to leave it overnight to cool.
In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up:
If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and churn the sorbet immediately, you can put the lukewarm sorbet in a sealable bag, place it in a large container, fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).
The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. You will also need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ), which is the temperature your Sorbet Base would have, should you have put it in the fridge overnight.
Step 3 – Churn the Apricot Sorbet
Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. With the machine running, pour the chilled sorbet base through the canister and into the freezer bowl. Let it churn until it thickens and has a stable body. In my ice cream maker, this takes 45 minutes. Note that sorbets, due to the lack of milk proteins, do not expand in volume. Your sorbet will be more like a thick slurry with a full body, instead of a fluffy ice cream.
Remove the machine from the freezer bowl and place the bowl -along with the sorbet-, covered with a lid, into the freezer. Leave for 4-5 hours for the sorbet to set properly, before serving or removing to another container. If you are not eating immediately and you want to store the sorbet, put the container in the freezer too, to avoid melting when you transfer the sorbet from the freezer bowl to the container.
Do not leave it in the freezer bowl for too long, or it will harden and you will not be able to remove it.
Storing the Sorbet
This sorbet, like all artisanal sorbets freezes hard in the long term.
To soften it before serving, remove from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
It is at its best for one week in the freezer. After this, its texture starts to deteriorate. Discard after one month.
Demerara sugar is a variety of raw cane sugar and its caramelising notes pair beautifully with the apricot. You may use any kind of raw cane sugar you like, as long as it its light brown in colour.
Regular white sugar works well too, although it doesn’t help in building flavour.