Pineapple sherbet is a type of frozen dessert made with milk and pineapple juice or fresh pineapple fruit. Similar to ice cream, sherbet has a creamy texture with a fruity flavor without tasting too icy, like sorbet. Not always found in the average grocery store, pineapple sherbet is not difficult to make at home.
The simplest pineapple sherbet is made with milk, pineapple, sugar, and flavoring such as vanilla extract. The milk is usually buttermilk or whole milk, but can be low fat or even coconut milk. Sweetened condensed milk may also be added for a creamier texture. Canned or fresh pineapple can be used, but the fruit should always be chopped or crushed. Pineapple juice may be included as well.
Lemon juice, and sometimes zest, is often added to pineapple sherbet. The amount varies depending on the recipe, so the result may be a hint of lemon or the lemon flavoring sharing the stage with the pineapple taste. Nuts, such as walnuts, are sometimes included as well.
To make pineapple sherbet, the sugar is usually boiled in water to dissolve. The pineapple and lemon juice may be added with the sugar or may be left out. Normally, the sugar is boiled until syrupy, and then added to the other ingredients. The ingredients may simply be stirred to combine, but are more often pureed in a food processor or a blender. Often, the milk is added gradually when blending, usually with the processor running.
Care should also be taken when adding water. Too much water will cause the completed treat to become too icy. Icy sherbet results in a more sorbet-like texture and reduces the creamy flavor of the dessert.
Once thoroughly combined, the mixture is placed in the freezer to chill for at least several hours. To serve, the sherbet may be scooped out of the container just like ice cream, though it might need to be allowed to soften first. The finished dessert may be garnished with fresh pineapple pieces or mint leaves.
Pineapple sherbet can also be made in an ice cream maker. When using an ice cream maker, the ingredients are usually mixed and then placed inside. The mixture is then processed according to the ice cream maker's instructions.
Unlike ice cream which is compose of at least 50 percent milk product, sherbets have only two percent milk content. Though homemade versions may bend the rules, commercial products cannot. Therefore, any type of sherbet should be strongly fruity with a mildly creamy consistency.