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Refreshing Pineapple-Herb Sorbet

by Kristina Gill

I love frozen desserts — ice cream, gelato, granita, shaved ice, sorbet. My memory goes back to my childhood: an ice cream maker with rock salt, churning, impatience; but then a reward of the soft texture of the ice cream once it was ready to eat. Trying to recreate that nostalgia is one of the reasons I am toying with buying an ice cream maker. Another reason is because of the new book, Mexican Ice Cream, by Fany Gerson, Mexican sweets expert and owner of frozen sweets business La Newyorkina, and chef and co-owner of Dough, a gourmet doughnut bakery. In the book, she shares her favorite recipes for cold desserts, including this week’s Pineapple-Herb Sorbet (nieve de piña-hierba). It is a clean, fresh flavor for the summer heat and exemplifies how easy it is to personalize homemade ice creams and sorbets. Don’t worry, if you don’t have an ice cream maker Fany has provided a method to make it manually — just how grandma used to make it! —Kristina

About Fany: A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Fany Gerson has worked in a range of fine-dining kitchens around the world. She is the founder of La Newyorkina, a catering company, roving food truck, and soon-to-be brick and mortar restaurant in Manhattan, and Dough bakery. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesGourmet, Fine CookingDaily Candy, and more. Her previous titles include Paletas and My Sweet Mexico. Find Fany on Instagram at @fanygerson.

Image above: Nieveria from Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson

Studio photography by Justin Walker | Location photography by Fernando Gomez Carbajal | Portrait by Ed Anderson

Fany Gerson’s Mexican Ice Cream Cookbook. Photograph by Justin Walker.

Ice Cream Flavors Sign from Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson photo by Fernando Gomez Carbajal | DesignSponge
Ice cream flavors sign from Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson. Photograph by Fernando Gomez Carbajal

Fany Gerson portrait by Ed Anderson | DesignSponge
Fany Gerson portrait by Ed Anderson

Pineapple-Herb Sorbet from Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson photograph by Justin Walker | DesignSponge
Pineapple-Herb Sorbet from Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson; photograph by Justin Walker.

Pineapple-Herb Sorbet (Nieve de Piña-Hierba)

Guadalajara, the second-largest city in Mexico, is well-known for its nieves, and Nevería San Antonio is one of my favorite shops. Famous for its small counter with rows and rows of garrafas, barrels used for hand-churning ice cream, the shop has modernized and expanded since I was a child, but the ice cream is still as good as I remember.

On my last visit to Guadalajara, I drove straight from the airport to the nevería to try one of their seasonal flavors, nieve de piña-hierba, or pineapple-herb sorbet. It was so good I had to go the next day to get more. The flavor of pineapple is very refreshing, and it pairs beautifully with any kind of herb. Nevería San Antonio used spearmint for their version, but try it with lemon thyme or basil for something different. Have fun and make it your own!

Reprinted with permission from Mexican Ice Cream, copyright © 2017 by Fany Gerson, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Makes About 1 quart.

Ingredients

  • 1 small pineapple, cored, peeled, and cut into chunks (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb, such as mint, basil, or rosemary

Preparation

1

In a blender or food processor, puree the pineapple chunks, sugar, water, lime juice, and salt until smooth. Add the herb and pulse until the herb is broken down into green specks. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate the base until cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

2

Whisk the base gently to recombine. Freeze and churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For a soft consistency, serve the sorbet right away; for a firmer consistency, transfer it to a container, cover, and allow to harden in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

3

For someone who doesn’t have a machine, you can use a metal cylinder and put it in a larger container or bucket with layers of salt and ice. The key is to put as much ice as possible in between the cylinder and the bucket to prevent the sorbet from thawing. You can also start with a cold cylinder and chilled mixture.

Once the ice cream is poured, the cylinder should be moved around so the edges start to freeze. Scrape down and continue doing so until you have some frozen bits. At this point you can continue using a wooden spoon or spatula. It can take quite a bit of arm work but it’ll be worth it! The idea is to stir while the sorbet freezes, and scrape the bottom and sides of the cylinder as needed. Make sure to drain any water that melts in between the cylinder and the bucket.

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