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Sorbet is the OG of dairy-free frozen desserts. No ice-cream machine necessary; all you need to make this fresh, fruity treat is a food processor— and a little advance planning. The key, especially on a steamy summer day, is to chill all your utensils in the freezer (including the food processor bowl and blade) and work quickly. With their dense, abundant flesh and plenty of naturally occurring sugar, frozen watermelon and papaya make very tasty outcomes, especially with a touch of fresh citrus juice to punch up the flavor. A little added fruit juice makes these sorbets especially smooth; for the best results, use just enough to make them creamy without being watery (it’s OK to have some left over). Because these are whipped instead of machine-churned, they’re best enjoyed immediately or stored in the freezer for no longer than two to three hours. (Pack leftover sorbet into popsicle molds and freeze overnight to keep the flavor train rolling.) For an extra-fancy finale, garnish bowls with fresh mint sprigs. — Terry Hope Romero

WATERMELON-POMEGRANATE SORBET

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Makes approximately 1½ quarts

Any fresh watermelon makes great sorbet, but choose a seedless one if you don’t want to spend time digging out the seeds.

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Ingredients

4 generous cups diced watermelon, seeds removed

1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

⅓ cup chilled pomegranate juice

Instructions

1. Arrange diced watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until completely solid, at least 8 hours or even better, overnight.

2. When you’re ready to serve sorbet, pulse frozen watermelon in a food processor into a grainy puree. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice. Pulse, intermittently scraping the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired; if the mixture seems a little stiff, pulse in one or two more tablespoons of chilled juice.

3. Scoop into serving bowls and serve immediately. If sorbet gets a little melty, pack into a freezer-safe container and chill for 20 to 40 minutes or until firm enough to scoop.

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PAPAYA-LIME SORBET

Makes approximately 1½ quarts

My favorite papaya for sorbet is the large Mexican variety with rich salmon-colored flesh, but the smaller golden Hawaiian papayas work just as well. Ripe papayas give slightly when gently squeezed and have a tropical fruit aroma.

Ingredients

1-2 ripe papayas, approximately 2 lbs.

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

½ cup chilled peach nectar or orange juice

Instructions

1. Cut papaya in half and use a metal spoon to remove seeds; discard seeds. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel papaya and dice. Arrange diced papaya in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until completely solid, at least 8 hours or even better, overnight.

2. When you’re ready to serve sorbet, pulse frozen papaya in a food processor into a slushy puree. Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of chilled peach nectar or orange juice. Pulse, intermittently scraping the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is very smooth. If the sorbet seems a little stiff, add one or two more tablespoons of chilled nectar or juice. Pulse until desired texture is reached.

3. Scoop into serving bowls and eat immediately. If sorbet gets a little melty, pack into a freezer-safe container and chill for 20 to 40 minutes or until firm enough to scoop.

Images: Angela Decenzo 

 

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