Monday, November 08, 2010

Rhubarb Lime Sherbet

The garden is still overflowing with rhubarb, and while I enjoy using it in baking I thought I should find a new use for it; a girl can only eat so many rhubarb muffins, cakes and crumbles. So when I stumbled upon a recipe for rhubarb sherbet I knew I just had to try. At first I didn't even know what a sherbet was, but after reading I discovered it's a mix between ice cream and sorbet (as it contains some dairy). And wow it is good, so good that I'm already set to make another batch today. The sherbet is so light yet creamy, and the rhubarb flavour really comes through and your mouth is left with a a yummy sweet tang thanks to the lime. This is the best frozen dessert I have ever had, and it is amazingly easy to make. I made it by hand and don't have an ice cream maker and it turned out perfect, so this an accessible recipe that would be ideal for anyone to make, even if you've never made a frozen dessert before.

Recipe adapted from Modern Domestic - original recipe here


  • 255g rhubarb (2-3 large stalks), washed and trimmed (the redder your stalks, the pinker your sherbet will be)
  • 130 g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approx 1 or two limes, don't scrimp on this)
  • 1 cup whole milk


Chop the rhubarb into thin slices and add them to a non-reactive saucepan along with the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium heat and simmer it for 5 minutes, so that the rhubarb softens and cooks through. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, pour in the lime juice.

Puree the mixture using an immersion blender, food processor or standard blender.

Add the milk and pulse until fully combined.

Fill a large bowl, or even your sink, with some ice and some cold water (enough to just float the ice).

Place the rhubarb mixture into a bowl and set it over the ice water bath. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, stir it occasionally. Now place the bowl into the fridge to chill even further, at least 4 hours.

If you have an ice cream maker you can now use it as you normally would. Otherwise pour the mixture into a sturdy freezer-safe container and place it in freezer.  Remove it from freezer every 30 minutes or so, and break up the ice crystals. Do this until the mixture is completely frozen and can no longer be beaten (about 4 hours).  I used an immersion blender to beat it, but you could transfer the mixture to a blender or just beat by hand with a hand tool such as a sturdy whisk.
If my instructions are a bit confusing, you may want to read this great article about how to make ice cream without a machine.


  1. So glad you liked the recipe! I was going to say "where the hell are you getting fresh rhubarb these days," but I imagine the growing seasons are totally different in New Zeland :-)

    I seriously think sherbet is due for a comeback.

  2. Oh my gosh I think you have just created the perfect iced treat! Sounds totally amazing!!! Methinks I should grow some rhubarb in my garden...does it need much room? :)

  3. Hi Jenna: I'm totally with you, they are completely overlooked (I had never even heard of them) but I'm so hooked now and am keen to experiment with new flavours. So glad I stumbled upon your site.

    Hi Nessie: I can't take credit for creating it, you should click the link to see the awesome recipe it was adapted from. But yeah amazing for sure. I have a double batch in the freezer at the moment...but I don't think it will stay there for long, nom nom. Umm I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure you could even grow some in a pot if you're really pressed for room, I guess you'd need at least 30cm (diametre) of space though. Incredibly easy to grow btw.

  4. mmmm.....looks amazing! will have to make us some one day!


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