Summer is the perfect time to make cooling and refreshing sorbet – when local fruit is aplenty. This sugar-free peach sorbet recipe contains only four wholesome ingredients: peaches, honey (or other sweetener), vanilla, and lemon juice. For best results, I suggest using the traditional churn method when making this recipe.
Confession time. I bought a Cuisinart cim-20 sorbet/ice cream maker over 20 years ago, but never really used it that much. It’s the typical electric churner sold for home use. The truth is, I wasn’t using it correctly and I kept having recipe failures. I recently brought it up from the basement and spent weeks experimenting and learning the keys to successful sorbet – and now I’m IN LOVE with this machine. My family would tell you I’m obsessed because all I talk or think about right now is sorbet! The colors and flavors of fruit sorbets in particular are so incredible – who can resist?
If you’ve been following my posts you know that we have a mini orchard that produces a lot of peaches among other fruits – I pack the freezer each summer with these yummy jewels. I’m so excited – sorbet is another way for me to use our frozen bounty! If you have the space, I highly recommend you also plant berry bushes and fruit trees – what are you waiting for?
What’s that you say? You don’t have a sorbet/ice cream maker? No problem! There are multiple no-churn methods that work pretty well. Stay tuned, I’m publishing a separate post within the week that also explains no-churn methods, so you can have sorbet success no matter what!
Sorbet and sherbet are both frozen desserts with similar names, but there is one big difference. Sherbet contains dairy (or non-dairy milk/cream) and may also contains egg whites, whereas sorbet contains neither.
Sorbet is vegan unless it contains honey.
I associate myself as more of a plant-based gal vs vegan. I eliminate meat, dairy, and eggs from my diet for health reasons, but I do consume honey on occasion. This recipe for peach sorbet contains honey. If you prefer, replace the honey with equal amounts of maple syrup or agave.
- Freeze the sorbet/ice cream maker’s canister (bowl that the sorbet is churned in) for at least 12 hours
- Make a simple syrup in advance; refrigerate
- Blend peach mixture in food processor or blender; refrigerate mixture until well chilled
- Churn the chilled mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, following manufacturer’s directions
- Put peach sorbet in freezer for at least two hours before serving
Successful Sorbet Making Tips
Listen, I want you to be successful at making this peach sorbet recipe. Making sorbet is not difficult, but there are a few things you need to take seriously in order to get it right. Sorbet with large ice crystals or a soupy consistency is what you want to avoid.
- Re-read the manufacturer’s directions for your particular sorbet/ice cream maker especially if, ahem, you haven’t used it in a while.
- Always start with a fully frozen canister so the liquid coolant surrounding the canister is frozen solid. Shake the canister, if you hear sloshing, then it isn’t ready. Pre-freezing the canister will take between 12 to 24 hours. Your freezer should be set to 0ºF or lower; place the canister in the back of your freezer where it is colder.
- Your peach mixture should be very well chilled before you process it. If you’re starting with frozen peaches and pre-chilled simple syrup, this step won’t take that long. Otherwise, plan on refrigerating your peach mixture for several hours, or even overnight, before churning.
- Don’t reduce the amount of honey in this recipe or you may end up with an icy sheet of sorbet instead of a scoopable consistency.
- After it’s processed, freeze the peach sorbet for about two hours before serving, unless you prefer a soft-serve consistency.
Perfect Peach Sorbet
- Food processor or blender
- Sorbet/ice cream maker
- Freezer safe container
- 1/2 cup pure raw honey, preferably a light-colored (mild flavored) honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups peach slices, fresh or frozen, with or without skins
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, such as Frontier Co-op brand
The Night Before
- Put your sorbet/ice cream maker's canister into the freezer overnight, or for how many hours the manufacturer recommends. Before putting it into the freezer, make sure the canister is perfectly dry, then seal it in a plastic bag. This will prevent moisture from collecting on its surface and will prevent the absorption of odors.
Make a Simple Syrup
- Add the water and honey to a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm up, while stirring, until the honey dissolves; do not boil. Cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate.
- You can make this in advance, pour into a small glass mason jar, and keep chilled in the refrigerator.
- Put the chilled simple syrup, peaches, and lemon juice into a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
- Refrigerate peach mixture until well chilled. It's important for the peach mixture to be very cold before processing it in the sorbet/ice cream maker.
- Pour the chilled mixture into the frozen canister. Churn, for 15 to 20 minutes, following the manufacturers directions.
- Add the vanilla about two minutes before the sorbet is done processing.
- Using a soft spatula, scrape the sorbet into a freezer-safe glass bowl or loaf pan. A Pyrex bowl with BPA-free snap-on lid works well. Place it in your freezer for about two hours before serving.
- Ice crystals can form on the surface of the sorbet while it’s in the freezer. To prevent this, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the container and place it on the surface of the sorbet.
- If the peach sorbet is too hard to scoop right out of the freezer, let it soften for 5 to 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Melted sorbet can be successfully re-churned. Just be sure the canister is fully frozen.
- If you have the room, consider storing the canister in your freezer (sealed in a plastic bag) so it’s always ready to use.
We currently have about 15 fruit trees, 300 raspberry bushes, an enclosed blueberry patch, and wild blackberries growing on our 2 acres. That’s a lot of fruit! So not only do we enjoy it fresh as it’s ripening, we also put some up for the off-season.
Last summer was a banner year for peaches. I made peach salsa, peach jam, and I dried several quarts of peach slices in our dehydrator. I also froze bushels of them whole, halved, and pureed; we’ve been using them for making peach cobbler, smoothies – and now peach sorbet.
To learn more about making sorbet, check out another post I wrote called Creamy Dairy Free Sorbet (4 Methods).