Turn Canned Fruit Into A One-Ingredient Sorbet

When craving a refreshing treat, look no further than a homemade sorbet. As opposed to the most basic homemade ice cream, sorbet is dairy-free, also endlessly customizable, and — best of all — it can be made with only one ingredient. All you need to make sorbet at home is a can of fruit, which you stick into the freezer. Canned fruit comes in syrup or juice, so you don't need to doctor it up like you would when using fresh fruit to make sorbet. No need to add sweetener or extra liquid. Easy peasy, can-in-freezey. 

Once your canned fruit of choice is sufficiently frozen — in about 12 hours — you'll want to chop the frozen fruit into smaller blocks to make your food processor's job a little easier. You can also pour your fruit and syrup into an ice cube tray prior to freezing for the same effect and less hassle. Use your food processor to blend the chunks away, as long as necessary to get the perfectly creamy texture you're looking for.

What canned fruits work best for one-ingredient sorbet?

Although you can use just about any fruit to make sorbet at home, some kinds of canned fruits work better than others. Fruits containing high amounts of pectin or fiber will make for a creamier sorbet. Such fruits include apples, peaches, blueberries, mangoes, pears, and raspberries. If you're looking for a dessert that's more Italian ice than ice cream, you can use canned fruits lower in pectin and fiber. Melons and citrus fruit, for example, will all push your sorbet in an icier direction. 

Most sorbet is made with a simple syrup — sugar dissolved in water — so this canned fruit hack works better with fruits in heavy syrup. The sugar is necessary to create the proper texture, so if you use fruit in juice with no sweetener, it will turn out thinner and runnier, though still delicious.

Of course, just because only one ingredient goes into making your sorbet doesn't mean you can't top it with additional ingredients. You can garnish your sorbet with a complementary fresh fruit or a drizzle of fruit sauce. You can also add essences or aromatics while you're processing the fruit. Vanilla essence with pear sorbet, or almond essence with peach sorbet would be delicious, as would mint with berry or rosemary with citrus. If you decide to add alcohol to the mix (pineapple with rum, anyone?) remember that alcohol tends to cause ice cream and sorbet to remain a little softer.