Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger and Rosemary

Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger and Rosemary

Light and refreshing.  This luscious sorbet is a terrific way to use overripe pears.  It’s also ideal as a palate cleanser between courses or a light and refreshing dessert.

In Johannesburg, spring has just begun.  Some of us still have a few of the season’s last winter pears hanging around.  After a long winter of apples and pears, it is only natural that our families are more drawn to strawberries and the other spring produce that seems to be popping up everywhere.

However, as the remaining pears sit around, they become sweeter and sweeter.  The season’s final pears — much like the first — may not have the texture we love best.  However, they do have all the flavor and sweetness we could wish for.

It would be a shame to let the last remnants of winter fade away into obscurity without using them!  So, I decided to “re-purpose” our overripe pears into a luscious sorbet — which could be enjoyed as a palate cleanser or as a light dessert.

Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger & Rosemary |
This luscious sorbet is a lovely palate cleanser. It is equally lovely as a light and refreshing end to a satisfying meal.

The Recipe

I have a confession to make.  I am far from an expert in frozen desserts.  In fact, apart from mango sorbet — which I used to prepare quite regularly when I was 13 — I’ve never made another sorbet in my life!

However, we’ve had a bit of a heat wave in Johannesburg recently, and sorbet seemed like just the thing.  It felt like a dessert that was light enough for bikini weather, yet could just as easily be enjoyed as a tiny morsel between courses.

So, I began to research sorbets in general and wound up at one of my all-time favorite culinary references: Joy of Cooking.  Of course, the book doesn’t contain a recipe for pear sorbet.  However, as usual, Joy of Cooking gave me the roadmap I needed to create the flavors I was dreaming of.

Sorbet was just as easy to make as my childhood memories suggested.  So, I’ll definitely be using the Joy of Cooking formula to create a few more interesting sorbets this spring.  This particular recipe adds an infusion of rosemary, as well as a hint of ginger, which gives the sorbet a lovely perfume.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.  Bon appétit!


Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger and Rosemary

Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger & Rosemary |
Jeanette Marie
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Prep Time:  15 minutes - Cook Time:  1 hour Servings:  8

A lovely palate cleanser or light end to fall or spring dinner.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 700 g (1.5 lb) soft, ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vodka

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add rosemary and set aside to cool.
  2. Puree pears, lemon juice and ginger. Then press through a sieve, pressing firmly to extract as much juice as possible. Discard seeds and skins.
  3. Stir in vodka.
  4. Remove the sprig of rosemary from the sugar syrup. Add cooled sugar syrup to pureed fruit mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  5. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze as directed.

Nutrition label for Pear Sorbet, Perfumed with Ginger and Rosemary

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