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Valentina Harris Cheats Summer Sorbet | CrunchyTales

Valentina’s Cheats Summer Sorbet

2 min read

Looking for a quick dessert recipe for your party? Fruity sorbet is a refreshing, light way to end a meal, plus it’s dairy-free for those looking to cut out milk or cream. Try this amazing version, the Celebrity Chef Valentina Harris especially created for CrunchyTales. 

This really is a fantastically easy but delicious way to make a very simple version of fruit sorbet and is a real cheat’s recipe for the hot summer. You will be amazed at how well this turns out, despite the cheating! It also works with canned peaches, apricots, mango, lychee or any other fruit, just as long as you buy the variety with heavy syrup as opposed to fruit juice, which simply will not give you the texture. You literally only need to freeze the canned fruit until solid in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, allow it to soften, then blitz in the food processor until just slushy. Hardly cooking is it? Finish it off with a drizzle of liqueur and a scattering of edible flowers to make it sophisticated and grown up. Its a perfect recipe for impressing your friends and family and nobody need ever know how you made it!


Serves 6 to 8


2 x 400 g cans lychees (or other fruit of your choice), in heavy syrup


Open the cans and pour contents into a plastic container with a lid.
Freeze on a flat surface until hard – overnight is best.
Remove from freezer and allow to stand to just soften a little – not more than 20 minutes or so.
Blitz in the food processor (or process with a stick blender) until smooth and then serve, piled into cups or glasses, drizzled with a little Maraschino or favourite liqueur if you wish.

After blitzing, you can re-freeze it, then allow it to soften again and stir briefly before serving.

SEE ALSO:  Spicy Treat: Calabrese Pumpkin With Mint And Capers

A bit of history

  • It was the Italian noblewoman Catherine de Medici who introduced ices to the French court in 1533 when, at aged 14, she married Henry, Duke of Orléans (the future king). The Medici family had set up a contest to find “the most unusual dessert you’ve ever seen”. One of the contestants was a Florentine chicken merchant named Ruggeri. He prepared ice water with sugar and won with this frozen dessert. Ruggeri became famous for his recipe.
  • The Frenchman, Nicolas Audigier, writing in 1692, told his readers that ‘the Italian style’ was the method for creating sorbets and other frozen desserts. He didn’t have any recipes specifically for sorbets, but included ones for iced waters and told his readers to double the sugar and flavouring to turn them into iced treats. He flavoured his drinks, and presumably his sorbets, with everything from lemon, strawberry, raspberry to pistachio, chervil and fennel.
  • Naples has been closely associated with sorbet’s production and consumption. Antonio Latini was the first person to write in detail about making and serving ices. He prefaces his recipes for ‘various kinds of sorbets or iced waters’.
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