Rhubarb Sorbet

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord as he celebrates spring with rhubarb sorbet. ~Elise

I’m not sure what first drew me to rhubarb. I think, perhaps, it was the name. Rhubarb. It sounds so strange, intriguing, even whimsical. But it isn’t all just in the name. The color can vary from the palest pink to dramatic ruby-red hues. The flavor, so sour when raw that its pucker-inducing taste is only appreciated by a select few, is coerced into something floral and fruity when cooked. In fact, you would be shocked to learn that rhubarb was indeed a vegetable with poisonous leaves and not some sweet berry.

This sorbet perfectly captures all that makes rhubarb so endearing. Its flavor is accentuated with the slight warmth of ginger and a little bit of zing from orange zest which not only contrasts well against the pink taste of this sorbet (and I would call the taste pink), it actually enhances it. We all found this sorbet a resounding success in extolling rhubarb and ringing in the start of Spring. Elise and I firmly believe that you will too.

Rhubarb Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about one quart.

Also makes great popsicles! Just pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.



  • 3 1/2 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb stalks (4-5 stalks, do not use the poisonous leaves!)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 2/3 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp of corn syrup


1 Put the chopped rhubarb, water, sugar, orange zest, ginger, and salt into a 3 to 4-quart pot. Heat on high heat to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb is falling apart tender.

2 Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Either use an immersion blender or work in batches with a standing blender to purée the mixture until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove any of the stringy pulp. Stir in the corn syrup. Cover and refrigerate until totally chilled, several hours or overnight. (Can more quickly chill in the freezer if you check it and stir it every 15 minutes.)

3 Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Note that right out of the ice cream maker the sorbet will have a soft consistency. If you would like it to be firmer, put it in a covered container and freeze it for a few hours. Once frozen, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to soften before serving.

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Rhubarb Sorbet

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Showing 4 of 19 Comments

  • Charlotte

    I don’t have an ice cream maker but you are making me wish that I had claimed my mother’s before we auctioned her stuff off. I don’t know if I would use one enough to be worth buying.

    They’re reasonably affordable nowadays. About $30 plus shipping on Amazon. I use mine all the time come summer and spring. ~Garrett

  • Kay Shumway

    I make all my sorbets with frozen fruit in the Cuisinart food processor. Cook the rhubarb until it’s really soft. Freeze hard. Add to Cuisinart with confectioner’s sugar to taste and process until smooth. May be served immediately or kept in a tight container until dessert is served, I also make raspberry sorbet this way.

  • Elaine

    This looks incredible and my market is supposed to have rhubarb this week. I was wondering, though – I’ve made sorbets a lot in my ice cream maker and only added sugar. Why is the corn syrup used here?

    Corn syrup is an invert sugar, the addition of which will help keep the sorbet smooth and keep it from becoming too icy. ~Elise

  • Sweetdivine

    Sounds absolutely delicious. Would it be possible to use maple syrup instead of corn syrup in this dish?

    The purpose of the corn syrup is to keep the sorbet from getting too icy. Maple syrup wouldn’t work the same way, and would only serve to add a maple flavor to the rhubarb (which if that’s what you’re after, go for it). If you do not want to use corn syrup, you can skip it, in which case I recommend either to add 2-3 tablespoons of vodka to the sorbet (same purpose – keep it from getting icy) or just eat the sorbet as soon as it has been made. ~Elise

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