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Help, my ice cream maker is making us fat.

My wife and I love our ice cream maker. We love it too much. We've enjoyed cherimoya gelato, banana ice cream, dulce de leche ice cream, and dozens of other flavors of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet. And it's starting to show. Do you have any recipes/ideas for lower calorie sorbet and gelato?

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  1. I'm not great with the proportions but I'm pretty sure that you can make sorbet out of just about any fruit you choose just by cooking it down with a good amount of sugar (I'm afraid you can't really get around the sugar) and a little lemon juice, letting it cool, adding a splash of alcohol, and freezing it in your ice cream maker.

    Sorbets, being fat free, are way healthier than regular or even most low-fat ice cream or gelato and aren't that bad for you so long as you're not diabetic or otherwise intolerance to glucose.

    One tip for this: when you use your machine and you're not adding as much fat, you want to churn the s*** out of it before sticking it in your freezer. People (including me) have had a lot of problems with sorbet freezing too solid in their freezers, which I think depends partially on the temperature of your freezer, partially on the amount of sugar and alcohol you've added (more of either helps), and partially on whether the sorbet is frozen enough when you first pop it in the freezer (obviously if it's not **really** frozen in the machine, it will have to freeze the ice-cube way in your freezer).

    Good luck...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Adrienne

      To keep sorbet from over-freezing, add a tablespoon of vodka per quart before putting it in the ice cream maker.

      And try this lemon sorbet on for size:
      Intense Lemon Sorbet

      Not for sissies.

      1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
      the zest of three lemons
      1 cup cold water
      1 cup (or a bit less) of quick-dissolving (“superfine”) sugar
      1 tablespoon frozen vodka

      Blend the lemon juice, zest, water, sugar, and vodka in a large, non-reactive bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Refrigerate the mixture, covered, until thoroughly chilled, at least 45 minutes.

      Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until frozen, 20-30 minutes. Scoop the sorbet into a freezable container, and freeze it for at least two hours.

      The sorbet keeps well for 3-4 days; then it usually hardens considerably.

      Yield: About 2/3 quart

      1. re: Adrienne

        I've had great luck with several flavors of the Cook's Illustrated sorbet, which only helps you if you're a web member and have access to their recipes. This recipe does include ~ 1T vodka (or other alcohol, depending on what flavor you're looking for) per 1-1.5 pints of sorbet (I think). I've never had any scooping problems.

        I've also made a few sherbet recipes that use milk instead of cream, which I prefer over the heavier ice creams.

      2. That's exactly why I'm afraid to get an ice cream maker!

        You could try my favorite sorbet, although I usually make it in the food processor. It's easy as pie -- put 4 cups strawberries (about two pounds) in the food processor, and puree. Add up to a cup of sugar (depending on sweetness, I like 1/2 c. but the original recipe called for a cup), two cups of water, and the juice from a small lemon. Swirl until mixed. At this point, the recipe says you can put it in an ice cream maker, but I usually put it in the freezer for a couple of hours and then back into the food processor.

        Perfect Light Desserts has a recipe for a "leaner" gelato that looks divine (and I've read good things about it) but I've never tried it.

        1. You have so many options - but no, you can't avoid the sugar! You can make some amazing sorbets out of fruit. Get a bag of frozen raspberries. Thaw, throw in food processor with a squirt of lime juice and some simple syrup. Strain or not, depending on how you feel about seeds. Chill and throw into the maker.

          Another great option is to buy bottled fruit nectar (I love passionfruit), mix with some citrus (I like lime) or a touch of alcohol, and put it in the maker. No effort necessary.

          Last, mix buttermilk (made from 2% milk, so not that bad for you) with sugar and lemon rind. Put in maker. It is amazingly delicious and refreshing.

          1. I like blood orange sorbet made with a rosemary infused simple syrup - although, there is quite a bit of sugar in the recipe. And yes, I do add a bit of vodka to keep it from over-freezing.

            1. I just made a coconut banana ice cream recipe from Cooking Light that is delicious, It definitely will be in my rotation from now on.

              It's on page 182 of the May 2007 issue.

              To paraphrase:
              1 1/2 C 2% milk
              1 cup of cream of coconut (the kind you use for pina coladas)
              1/3 C sugar
              1 1/2 C ripe mashed banana.

              Mix the first 3 ingredients. Add the banana and chill in the fridge for an hour. Pour into your ice cream maker (I used a Cuisinart) and when it's ready pour in a freezer safe container and chill to firm. It was good right out of the ice cream maker when it was really creamy too.

              Yumm!