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This easy, 4 ingredient recipe for homemade strawberry sorbet makes a creamy, smooth fresh fruit sorbet that is bursting with strawberry flavor. Use either fresh or frozen berries and any kind of ice cream maker. Follow the quick tips and instructions to make a frozen treat that celebrates spring and summer flavors.
I’m an all season, all flavor, all type ice cream eater. Gelato, fro-yo, sorbet, I’m game no matter the weather. But when my kitchen fills with the vibrant colorful spring and summer fruit, it’s hard not to show preference to those flavors.
So, after an overzealous trip to a strawberry u-pick farm, I immediately started testing this super easy, 4 ingredient homemade strawberry sorbet recipe. It’s silky, vibrantly red, sweet and tangy, and abso-fricken-lutely delicious, easily the best I’d ever had. So forget those 5 dollar pints and easily make double with this from scratch recipe instead.
What makes this recipe great
- Simple, easy ingredients – There are only 4 (if you count water) and you can literally get them at ANY grocery store.
- True to fruit flavor – I promise it tastes like strawberries, pure and simple and silky.
- Great for all occasions – Whether it’s a dessert for Mother’s day, a treat for you and the kids on a hot day, or a finishing touch to a dinner party, it will impress every time.
I’ve always debated whether or not to call this a 4 or 3 ingredient recipe. Does water really count? Whether you think it does or not, the things you need to make this summery sorbet are all very simple and easy to find.
- Strawberries – You can use fresh or frozen strawberries to make this, but I urge you to spring for the best quality ones you can. The difference in flavor when I’ve made this from berries purchased as a supermarket versus a batch I made with seasonal ones from my local strawberry stand is amazing. Go with the freshest, most local berries you can for optimal flavor.
- Sugar – Sugar is very important for texture. If the ratio is off you can end up with very hard, or very liquid sorbet. The fruit also contains sugar, which can complicate things. I urge you to make this according to the recipe, which has been tested repeatedly to achieve the right ratio.
- Lemon juice – fresh or bottled will work to elevate the flavor and cut the sweetness slightly.
Fun fact, these same ingredients, when they’re combined in a different ratio and cooked differently, make a delicious homemade strawberry syrup!
How to Make Strawberry Sorbet from Scratch
Making sorbet is not hard, but it does take time. Things will move a faster if your ice cream maker is ready to go. Freeze the bowl according to your manufacturer’s instructions so that you can churn as soon as the base is chilled.
Part 1 – Make the Base
Start by hulling your strawberries, or removing the leaves and core. A paring knife works, but a melon baller makes quick work of it. Keep as much of the berry intact as you can.
Combine the berries and water in a blender and puree until smooth. Then strain through a fine mesh sieve directly over a saucepan. Work the mixture gently until the liquid has run into the pot and you’re left with a thick paste of seeds and pulp, which you can discard.
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and add in the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, but do not let the mixture boil or simmer. This should only take a few minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and cover, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Part 2 – Churn the sorbet
When your ice cream maker is properly frozen and the base is chilled, you’re ready to churn. Follow the instructions for your model and add the liquid in. Turn it on and let it do it’s thing!
The strawberry sorbet is done when it begins to form thick, smooth ribbons. It will be very soft set at this point. Transfer it to a freezer safe container and freeze for 1-2 hours to allow it to fully set up. (But don’t forget to sneak a few bites!)
I personally recommend individual bowls so that you can take just what you want out of the freezer at a time, but you can use any freezer safe bowl, or even popsicle molds.
- Pay attention to your model’s capacity – I have a 1.5 liter ice cream maker and this recipe makes about 3-4 pints of sorbet. Yours may be smaller or larger. It is perfectly okay to return remaining strawberry sorbet base to the fridge and churn in two batches if needed.
- Turn the machine on first – Maybe yours is better, but my machine tends to get a build up of sorbet along the sides that the churn refuses to grab. To battle this I turn it on and slowly ladle in the base, which tends to reduce the amount on the sides.
Yes, you will need some form of ice cream maker to make a true sorbet. It serves two purposes: to constantly churn so the sorbet forms small ice crystals instead of large ones, creating a silky texture, and to incorporate air, which is also important for texture and volume.
There are many inexpensive ones out there in many forms. You can purchase ones you shake, ones that attach to a stand mixer, old school cranks, or freestanding ones like my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
That depends on how prepared you are and the type of ice cream maker you have. Freeze the ice cream maker bowl the night before so it’s ready when you are. Some churns work as quickly as 10 minutes, while others can take up to 30 or longer to properly freeze the sorbet.
The sorbet will pass through several stages in your ice cream maker. First as a liquid, then what will look like a slushie, and finally it will begin to hold together and churn like thick ribbons of soft set ice cream. Take it out at this point and freeze to allow it to firm up.
The quality of berries and the amount of air that touches the sorbet during churning can affect the final color. As long as it tastes good, the color doesn’t matter.
The ice cream maker bowl must be frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mine is at least 8 hours. The base must also be chilled. If either are not right, the sorbet will have trouble churning.
If your sorbet sets up hard, simply set it on the counter for 10 minutes to let it soften before serving. Or, you can add pectin to make it softer and slower-melting. Add 1 tsp of pectin during the sugar dissolving step and make sure it dissolves and cooks in the liquid for at least 1 minute.
More Strawberry Recipes to Enjoy
I hope you enjoy this ridiculously easy, super silky homemade strawberry sorbet. There are no corn syrups, no odd ingredients, just pure berry goodness. If you enjoy making sorbet then don’t forget to check out my Plum Blackberry Sorbet next!
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5 star rating in the recipe card below, or a comment to share your experience with fellow home cooks. I hope you enjoy and as always, Happy Eating!
Homemade Strawberry Sorbet
- 680 grams Strawberries* 24 ounces, about 30-35 strawberries
- 12 ounces water 1.5 cups
- 7 ounces white sugar 1 cup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Place ice cream maker bowl into the freezer according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Wash and hull strawberries then place in blender or food processor with the water. Blend until smooth puree. (If using frozen berries, thaw ahead of time.)
- Strain puree through fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Push as much liquid through as possible, leaving only seeds and thick pulp behind.
- Add sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Place over medium-low heat, and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour into container with lid and refrigerate until completely cool. 2 hours minimum.
- When the ice cream churn bowl has frozen for the necessary amount of time and sorbet base is cool, place in ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers instructions.
- When fully frozen (Smooth/glossy) transfer to a freezer safe container and store in freezer until ready to eat. When ready to eat, let sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes to allow to soften.*
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.