Raspberry mint sorbet (or granita) - Diversivore.comRaspberry mint sorbet (or granita) - Diversivore.com

Raspberry Mint Sorbet

In Recipe by Sean26 Comments

Raspberry Mint Sorbet

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I don’t know what it is exactly, but I don’t truly feel like it’s summer until the first raspberries show up. I love everything about raspberries. I love the way they pop off the plant like tiny little thimbles, I love how there are different varieties all around the world, I love the taste (of course) – I even love those crunchy little seeds. At least in moderation.

Raspberries make for some of the best desserts, pairing beautifully with chocolate and other flavours. They’re wonderful on their own or as the primary flavour in a dessert too, though their natural sweetness and distinctive flavour can almost be a bit overwhelming. Enter: MINT.

This is a simple, delightful, wildly refreshing summer sorbet, and while the raspberries are clearly the stars, the mint plays a vital role. The tingly, cool freshness of fresh mint serves as a foil to the ultra-sweet fruit while further emphasizing the refreshing iciness of the sorbet. The mint flavour is not nearly as strong as you’d encounter in, say, a chocolate mint ice cream, but it definitely makes its presence felt.

I made this with my beloved ice cream maker (a tool I strongly recommend investing in if you’re at all interested in high-quality and stress-free home made frozen treats), but I’ve given some options below if you don’t have access to one.

Recipe Notes

I’m not reinventing the wheel here – this is pretty straightforward stuff. But there are a few tools that will make this a lot easier, and a couple of little tricks too.

I make sorbet with two of my favourite kitchen appliances – my ice cream maker, and my Vitamix blender. You can make sorbet (or granita) without these, but they make life MUCH easier. Ice cream makers are one of those kitchen tools that seems somewhat extravagant, but if you’re really into DIY desserts, they’re a pretty reasonable investment. They’re not overly expensive (mine was less than $100), and they’re quite simple to use. They do take up substantial kitchen real estate, so I keep mine in my garage until I’m ready to use it. As for the Vitamix – well, I adore having a high-powered blender. You can do so much with it – including making ice cream WITHOUT an ice cream maker (that’s a topic for another day though – I’ll be tackling that soon!). The Vitamix is powerful enough to puree the sorbet mixture without leaving a bunch of overly large flecks of mint in the mixture, which simplifies the process a great deal.

Alright, sales pitch aside (and for the record, I’m not making any money if you go and decide to buy either of those tools), let’s talk about what you can do if you don’t have those appliances.

No High-Powered Blender?

If you have a small blender or a food processor, this is still a pretty easy recipe. Simply mince your mint before adding it to the raspberries – the finer the better – then proceed with the remaining steps.

If you don’t have a blender of food processor at all, I have good news: you can still make sorbet. First of all, you’re going to want to make sure you follow the maceration step (see “The Keys to Good Sorbet” below) as it will soften the fruit and draw out the juice. You’ll also need to VERY finely mince your mint so that you don’t get tough little bits of it in the sorbet. After that, all you need is a nice big pot, a potato masher, and some muscles. Pound the heck out of the liquid sorbet mixture, then strain out all of the seeds, taking care to press the juice/puree through a mesh to extract as much of the good stuff as you can. And hey, all that extra work means you get an extra serving of sorbet, right?

No Ice Cream Maker?

This one is a little more work to overcome, but still very doable. Sorbet, like ice cream, should be fairly delicate and without any particularly large crystals of ice.  If you want to make something with larger, more textural chips of ice, follow the granita instructions below.  If you want to try to achieve that sorbet consistency without an ice cream maker, there are three basic options that can work.

  1. Follow the granita option (outlined below), but work the fork a little bit more vigorously and more frequently to try to create smaller ice crystals.
  2. Make standard granita, then throw the finished, frozen mixture in a food processor and quickly blitz it.  Do NOT run the blade too long, or the mixture will start to freeze.
  3. This method is for those of you with the aforementioned high-powered blender.  Freeze about 3/4 of the sorbet mixture in ice cube trays or a shallow pan (a baking tray or two would be ideal, as you’ll want to break the frozen sheets up into pieces).  Place the other 1/4 of the mixture in the refrigerator.  Place the cold liquid portion of the mixture in the blender, then add the frozen cubes/pieces.  Starting at a low speed and quickly (but steadily) increase to the highest setting, blend the mixture until it forms a uniform and thick mixture.  Do not over-blend the sorbet, or it will start to melt.

You’ll likely encounter some recipes that suggest freezing the whole thing in a shallow pan and scooping it out, but this will yield large ice crystals with very little air in the mix. Basically, that’s how you make a popsicle, not a sorbet.

The Keys to Good Sorbet

There’s nothing terribly complicated about making sorbet, but you’ll want to make sure you follow a few key steps.

First and foremost, let’s talk about seeds. This tip is specific to this recipe and not sorbet in general, but it’s worth bearing in mind for other recipes. I do like raspberry seeds, but you’re using over a pound of raspberries here and that makes for a LOT of seeds. A lot of seeds will ruin the texture of your sorbet, so you’re best taking the puree from the blender and pressing it through a mesh strainer of some kind. If you’re really picky about it, use a very fine mesh to make sure you get every last seed, but I’m personally fine with the occasional seed making it through so I use a slightly coarser mesh.

Because texture is a big thing when it comes to sorbet, you want to pay attention to just how frozen you can get the final product. The key isn’t just freezing the mixture, but freezing it with very small ice crystals and a fair bit of incorporated air. Make sure to refrigerate the mixture that comes out of the blender, as it won’t properly freeze in an ice cream maker if it’s at room temperature (trust me). I find that the sorbet is a bit on the soft side as it comes out of an ice cream maker, so I put the whole batch into the freezer as soon as it’s finished. After about 1 hour you’ll have an ideal, soft-yet-icy consistency. If you leave it longer it will freeze pretty hard, but you can take it out 15 minutes before serving to soften.

I add one optional step to my sorbet making that I borrowed from the world of preserving – I macerate the berries. The idea is a simple one – the fruit is covered in sugar (and in some cases liquid) and left for a period of time. This draws juice out of the berries, softens them, and lets the flavours intermarry for a little while. If you have time to do it, I do recommend it – especially if you don’t have a high-powered blender, as it helps break down the berries.

Granita Variation

The granita (specifically the Sicilian granita) is quite a bit like a sorbet, however the crystals of ice are a bit coarser and more textural. Because of this, it’s a lot easier to make a granita by hand than a sorbet.

Hand made granita takes time and attention, but isn’t too tricky. Pour the mixture in one or more wide, flat containers (you want a lot of surface area and not a lot of volume) and place in the freezer. Remove the mixture from the freezer ever 30 minutes or so and use a fork to fluff and break up the ice crystals. Work quickly and return the mixture to the freezer when you finish. The granita is finished when it’s frozen through with small ice crystals and plenty of incorporated air. If you wait too long the mixture freezes solid, you can allow it to melt (partially or completely) and start over.

Flavour Variations

Sorbet is pretty straightforward stuff, and you can do pretty much anything with it, so I’m not going to list every possible combination. Instead, I have a couple of raspberry-specific variations to mention. Feel free to experiment.

Raspberry Basil – mint is lovely, but basil has a wonderful flavour that also works quite nicely with sweet red fruits. Substitute an equal amount of basil for mint.

Raspberry-Blackberry – An excellent combination with a darker colour and a deeper, richer flavour.
Try a 50:50 mix of fruits, or go with whatever you’ve got on hand.

Chambord – The classic black raspberry liqueur adds a grown-up touch to raspberry sorbet. Add 2 tablespoons to the mixture when blending. Note that adding alcohol does make it a little tougher to freeze a sorbet or ice cream, so you might end up with a softer end product.


Nutrition Facts
Raspberry Mint Sorbet
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.01g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.04g
Sodium 1mg 0%
Potassium 103mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 28g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 1%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional Summary

Note: nutritional info is show for a 1/8th serving, approx. 1 medium-sized scoop.

GOOD NEWS:
Loaded with fruit, devoid of fat, and relatively low in sugar, this is some pretty darned healthy dessert. This sorbet is a great way to have a cold, summery dessert without packing in the calories.

BAD NEWS:
Not much really! This is still dessert of course, so it’s extra calories one way or another, but it’s mostly fruit and fairly low in added sugar.

Ingredient Pages

No ingredient pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

Pantry Pages

No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten free
  • Vegan

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Raspberry mint sorbet (or granita) - Diversivore.comRaspberry mint sorbet (or granita) - Diversivore.com
Raspberry Mint Sorbet
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 d 25 mins
 

A delicious and refreshing summer sorbet, loaded with sweet raspberries and balanced by the cool bite of mint. Can be made with or without an ice cream maker!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: European, French, Miscellaneous
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 131 kcal
Ingredients
  • 500 g raspberries (~4 cups) plus a few extra to garnish
  • 200 g granulated sugar (~1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5 g mint (about 2 loose tablespoons) plus a few leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a large, non-reactive bowl and let stand in the fridge overnight. If you're pressed for time, simply combine the ingredients and let stand on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  2. Place the fruit/sugar mixture and the remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. If your blender isn't particularly powerful, you might want to pre-mince the mint.
  3. Pour and press the mixture through a mesh or fine strainer in order to extract most of the seeds (I let a few get through because I like them - use a fairly fine strainer if you don't want any). Discard the seeds.
  4. Chill the sorbet mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Add the cold sorbet mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the instructions for your particular ice cream maker.
  6. Place the finished sorbet in the freezer. For a softer, looser sorbet, leave for about 1 hour. For a firmly frozen sorbet, leave for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Granita Variation
  1. If you want to make granita or you don't have an ice cream maker, you can simply pour the mixture into a large, flat container (something that will give you a large surface area to work with) and place it in the freezer. Remove the mixture from the freezer ever 30 minutes or so and use a fork to fluff and break up the ice crystals. Work quickly and return the mixture to the freezer when you finish. The granita is finished when it's frozen through with small ice crystals and plenty of incorporated air. If you wait too long the mixture freezes solid, you can allow it to melt (partially or completely) and start over.
Recipe Notes

Any good fresh mint will work. I used chocolate mint, which (despite the name) has no chocolate flavour, but does have a nice purple-green colour and a very refreshing and crisp mint flavour that works well with chocolate and other desserts.

Comments

  1. Lovely, Sean! I am a huge fan of raspberries myself. Pairing raspberries with mint is brilliant. I am looking forward to trying your version of Raspberry Mint sorbet.

    1. Author

      Thank you Denise! I see a lot of mint-fruit pairings, but I’m surprised I don’t see raspberries more often. Mint partners perfectly with the intense sweetness of raspberry.

  2. Oh I love a good sorbet. I just found out this morning that the raspberry farm down the road is now open! Pinning this one to make for sure! Perfect for Canada Day, too.

    1. Author

      Thanks Elaine! I’m glad you liked it, and it’s definitely very Canada Day appropriate!

  3. Beautiful! and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel with beautiful classic recipes and gorgeous in-season ingredients! I feel the same way about summer with strawberries. lol I love all berries, but my husband is particularly fond of raspberries, and since he can’t eat dairy, this recipe would be perfect for him! I’ll keep that in my back pocket for later when I can get my hands on local organic raspberries. I can’t wait, although I don’t have an ice cream maker… but it’ll still be delicious following your instructions

    1. Author

      I first fell in love with sorbet making when I had to whip up a dessert for a family friend with dairy allergies. I was so pleased with the results (and the recipe, which I have to get around to remaking and posting this summer…) that I go to sorbet pretty regularly now. I love a creamy ice cream, but I really don’t think anyone’s missing out on anything when the fruit is as good as this. As you say, classic and seasonal! I hope your blender-only version goes well (though I’m sure it will). Cheers!

  4. Sean,this looks beautiful! Love the combination of raspberry and mint ! The best thing I like about summer is the abundance of fruits, there are so many different kinds. The worst thing is the itch from mosquito bites! Lol…
    I totally agree that the ice cream maker is worth the investment. And once you’ve made your own, you wouldn’t want to buy from the store again….well, except is from Earnest…sorry I maybe biased….😛Have a great summer!

    1. Author

      Thanks Vicky! I always have to chuckle about summer and food blogging. It’s the slowest season for food blogging (everyone’s outside and on holidays after all), and yet it’s the most incredible and bountiful season for fresh produce. If you’re a scratch-based blogger, it’s a bit of a kick in the pants. Ah well. And hey, it’s DEFINITELY the season for ice cream! Cheers, and you have an awesome summer too!

  5. Beautiful photos, as usual, Sean! I love the idea of mint and raspberry together in a cold dish. I never would have thought of it, but it’s really perfect! I love small appliances, but had an ice cream maker that didn’t work properly and took up way too much real estate- I guess it tainted me. It’s good to know I can make this recipe without! 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks Terri! Ice cream makers are definitely big on real estate. I’m glad to have a garage to keep mine in at this point, but I do love having it. Regardless, it is nice to have options! I hope some of them work for you. Cheers!

  6. Raspberries are my favourite, and I can’t wait for mine to ripen so I can make this sorbet. The colour is gorgeous and I can almost taste it. I like the idea of mint, but I like the basil suggestion even more. And I’m with you on the ice cream maker. I couldn’t be without mine, love it!

    1. Author

      Thanks Colleen! I’m with you – raspberries are AMAZING. I think basil would be amazing, though I will admit that I’m particularly partial to pairing that herb with strawberries. I’m glad you’re also in the pro-ice-cream-maker camp – aside from the space they take up, they really haven’t got any downside!

  7. I love the simplicity and wow factor of this recipe, Sean. As always, I appreciate the helpful tips when it comes to making desserts like this without an ice cream maker and your guidelines on what makes a great sorbet are fantastic. Gorgeous photos, too. Hope you’re enjoying Canada Day long weekend!

    1. Author

      Thank you Justine! I really love simple recipes, even if I do gravitate toward publishing more complicated things at times. Or combinations of simple things – I tend to do that too. Heh. I’m glad the tips are helpful – as you know, I’m all about getting people to actually try new things, and I think that the guidelines for good sorbet are easily as important as the recipe itself. Thanks for stopping by, and here’s hoping your summer is going great (and with plenty of home-made sorbet)!

  8. It’s SO hot here today and all I want now is raspberry sorbet! As I was reading the post I was doing a happy dance because I am now the very proud owner of a Vitamix!! Yay! Still, I love how you gave alternative instructions for those who do not have either a Vitamix or ice cream maker. And as always your photos are amazing (especially that last one).

    1. Author

      Yay! It’s an amazing tool – you’re going to love it! And hey, I’m all about the alternative instructions – I want people to truly feel inspired and empowered to cook, and that means giving them a lot to work with! Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad you like the photos. Sorbet is tricky to shoot!

  9. I make a ton of ice cream but have never made sorbet. I love raspberries though so I’ll need to give it a try!

    1. Author

      In a lot of ways, it’s even better than ice cream – less prep and lighter, but still so easy. Cheers!

  10. That color, Sean! Just gorgeous, and it screams summer! The texture is spot on, and thanks for all the tips on how to achieve a wonderful sorbet. We’ve actually never made it, and we don’t have the powerful Vitamix, so all the suggestions are appreciated. I can just imagine the mint just making its subtle appearance to make it even more delicious.

    1. Author

      Thank you Nicoletta! Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits, and I LOVE when you get to experience their true colour. I may sound like a curmudgeon, but I get a little bit annoyed every time I see some ‘blue raspberry’ nonsense. At least I know to avoid it. I’m glad the sorbet tips are appreciated. The Vitamix method is popular, but I will say that if you like ice cream and sorbet a lot and you have the space, I’d go with the ice cream maker all the way. The Vitamix gives you the option of making sorbet without much advanced prep (you need to freeze ice cream maker bowls a day in advance), so it’s great to have both, but ice cream maker texture is spot on every time. Cheers!

  11. I don’t have a Vitamix OR an ice cream maker! Woe is me!!! (True story- I used to have an ice cream maker, but the only place I had to store it was in the bedroom closet. So I got rid of it.) I wish I could find an amazing TINY vitamix/blendtec/the like! This sounds delicious- I’ll have to try macerating the berries next time I make granita!

    1. Author

      Haha, an ice cream maker in the bedroom, eh? Sounds like the setup to a bad joke. Or the punch line…. In any case, I’m SURE you’d do well with either (or both), but for the hardcore and sorbet obsessed, the freezer method is totally doable. And hey, if your texture is too coarse, you’ve just made granita instead. Nothing wrong with that. Good luck on your future experiments!

  12. Well, hello, gorgeous! The color of this raspberry sorbet is simply stunning! I, too, am such a fan of fresh raspberries, and my Vitamix is one of my favorite countertop appliances. We’re such frozen dessert fans in this house that we took the plunge and bought a compressor-based ice cream maker last year. It was a bit of an investment, but the luxury of not having to pre-freeze the bowl and being able to make different batches of ice creams and sorbets in succession has really paid off for us. I think I’m going to make your raspberry-chambord sorbet variation for friends this weekend!

    1. Author

      Why thank you! I assume you were referring to the sorbet as gorgeous, but hey – I’m flattered either way. I admire your dedication to frozen dessert! I’ve not used a compressor-based ice cream maker, but certainly pre-freezing the bowl is the biggest obstacle, both in terms of space and pre-planning. Do let me know how the variation goes! My interest in fruit-infused and fruit-based alcohols and liqueurs has really exploded lately, and I’m super eager to try out lots of recipe and cocktail ideas. Cheers!

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