Before summer nectarines disappear for a year, make this sweet, refreshing sorbet for dessert. Just three ingredients and no refined sugar; just a little floral honey to accent the nectarines. If you like lemon sorbet or mango sorbet, try it with nectarines. Sorbet is dairy-free, so the pure natural fruit flavor shines through.
When late summer triple digit temperatures arrive in Southern California, that's when I make sorbet. Anything cool and refreshing is not just needed, it’s required. Sorbet is just the answer. Simmer briefly, puree, then chill, churn and enjoy. Making honey nectarine sorbet is always a summer highlight.
I’ve made at least four batches of this sorbet in the past two weeks for family and friends. It’s so simple. Just sweet nectarines, a few tablespoons of mild honey (I use orange blossom honey) and a little water to help the fruit cook down. All you need is 3 pounds of nectarines and some honey.
Many sorbet recipes use simple syrup made with white sugar to sweeten sorbets. I skip the refined white sugar and swap honey. If you want to skip the honey and reduce sugar, use this sugar-free, low-carb keto syrup.
Sugar does effect the texture of sorbet (keeps it softer), so sorbet is better served fresh. It can freeze hard and icy if left in the freezer too long. Leave it out to soften if it gets icy. The optional Grand Marnier helps it not freeze so hard.
- Peel the fruit, remove the center stone, then chop the fruit.
- Add along with the honey to a small pan and simmer until soft.
- Puree in a blender.
- Quickly cool the base down in an ice bath, then refrigerate to cool completely. It will help the sorbet to churn faster.
- After churning, place in the freezer for about an hour to set up.
I like my sorbet a little soft versus frozen solid. Anyway you make it, it is refreshingly cool on a hot summer night. If you make it a day ahead, allow the sorbet to sit out for a few minutes to soften up, then scoop.
For garnish add chopped or sliced fresh nectarine as an option. Fresh raspberries would be nice too.
I use a “Y” style vegetable peeler to peel nectarines, many other fruits and all vegetables. They are about $4 in a cooking store or online. It's so quick and easy. It works best with nectarines that are not overly ripe. For super ripe fruit you'll need a paring knife for peeling.
How to Set Up an Ice Bath
After you simmer then puree your nectarines and honey, the base will still be hot. Set up an ice bath to quickly cool the base before churning. Fill a large bowl half way with water and add lots of ice. Into that place a medium bowl. Pour the hot fruit base into the medium bowl and stir to cool.
Use a stainless steel bowl for fastest cooling. Forget plastic bowls. They insulate heat, not release it. When cool, place the nectarine sorbet base into the refrigerator to cool completely before churning in an ice cream maker. To make sorbet, follow the ice cream makers instructions.
More Nectarine Recipes
Honey Nectarine Sorbet
- Ice Cream Maker
- 3 pounds nectarines
- 4 tablespoons orange blossom honey or other mild type
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier optional
Peel and Chop
- Peel nectarines. A Y-style vegetable peeler makes it easy. Don’t worry about getting every tiny bit of skin off. After peeling, cut all of the flesh off from around the pit. Chop flesh and add to a saucepan. Add honey and water. Cook nectarines over medium-low heat with a lid on until very soft, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove nectarines from the heat, add liqueur if using (optional), and puree the fruit in a Vitamix or blender until very smooth. Pour into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Place in an ice bath to chill quickly. Stir occasionally to help the base cool faster. Stirring helps the heat release. When cold, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour until totally cold. This will help the sorbet churn faster.
Churn in Maker
- When totally chilled, pour nectarine base into an ice cream and churn according to manufacturer directions. After churning, allow the sorbet to set up in the freezer for about an hour after before serving. if it is in the freezer for a few hours or even overnight (made ahead), allow sorbet to sit out until soft and creamy enough to scoop.