Sorbet’s are a great alternative to ice-cream; they’re made with all-natural fruit instead synthetic flavors and are fat-free! Until recently however, I believed that they were tricky to make and required a lot of sugar. Not true! Typically, the role of sugar in a sorbet, is to prevent the water/fruit juice from forming large ice crystals as it chills; this is the key to its beautiful texture. So while sugar is essential when working with fruits / sorbets that have a high water content (orange, watermelon, or lime), its not the case with more fibrous fruits like mangoes. The fiber in fact, does the job of sugar and prevents the formation of ice-crystals, leaving you with an extra smooth texture.
Another complexity with typical sorbet recipes is the need for an ice-cream churner; this easy recipe does without one and uses a regular blender. It also uses just 3 simple ingredients!
The key to getting this right, is the chilling time. Since we are avoiding the use of sugar altogether, there is a risk of the sorbet freezing if left in the freezer too long. But get the timing right, and you are sure to achieve a light, creamy and intensely mango flavored sorbet!
- A mixer / food processor / blender
- A silicone baking sheet / A regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- A refrigerator / freezer
- A container with a lid
- 2 Mangoes
- a pinch of Salt
- ½ tsps Fresh Lime / Lemon Juice
- 2 – 3 tsps warm Water (if needed)
- 4 small Basil Leaves (Optional, used for the garnish)
- Wash, peel and cut the mangoes into cubes. Lay the cubes out on a silicone baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper). The cubes do not have to be perfect,just make sure they are as evenly sized as you can make them1.
- Reserve about 2 – 3 tsps of the mango pulp in a bowl to use later.
- Stick the baking sheet in your freezer for 2 – 3 hours until the mango cubes freeze completely. Here’s what they should look like once frozen.
- Add the frozen mango, a pinch of salt2, half a tsp of fresh lemon juice3,and the reserved pulp to a blender jar and blitz away.
- Its’ going to take a couple of minutes to break down. Open after a minute, stir and scrape down the sides of the jar with a spatula to make sure it all blends well. If you feel that the mango cubes just aren’t breaking down, add a couple of tsps of warm water to get it going. Here’s a picture of the mango ground mid-way; this is when I added those couple of tsps of warm water.
- Continue to blend until you achieve a thick creamy texture. Here’s what it should look like when done:
- Taste check and add a little more lemon juice or salt if you like. I really enjoy the sweet & salty combination and usually add a bit more salt to taste. Transfer the mango blend to a container and chill in the freezer again for about 1 – 2 hours. Do not freeze any longer,or you could end up with a hard slab4. To ensure you end up with a beautiful,almost ice cream-like texture, it’s best to blend the mango cubes only a couple of hours before you need to serve the final sorbet.
- Scoop out into serving bowls, garnish with basil5 or mint and enjoy!
1Evenly sized pieces grind down easier in a blender. If you have chunks of different sizes, some will take longer to grind. When the mixture is ground for too long, it gets warmer and loses its sorbet like texture.
2Like with every dessert, salt brings out the flavor of the main ingredients, in this case the mango! Also, if like me, you enjoy the play of sweet & salty (for example, salted caramel😍), then go ahead and add a bit more salt to taste!
3Since mangoes are fairly sweet, lemon juice adds that tiny bit of acidity needed to enhance their flavor further. Use less if your mangoes have a slightly sour note.
4In the event that you do end up with a rock-hard slab instead of sorbet, there is an easy fix! Leave it out at room temperature for about 20 mins, until you can cut the slab into cubes again or just break it down into smaller pieces with a fork. Blend again until you achieve the desired texture; and finally chill for 15 – 20 mins in the freezer before serving.
5You can also add a couple of small basil leaves while blending the mango cubes, this adds another flavor component to the sorbet and makes it feel a little more special!
As always let me know in the comments below if you have any feedback or questions on this 3 ingredient recipe.🖖