Rhubarb Sorbet

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

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


  • 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 Cook the rhubarb in water with sugar, zest, ginger, salt: 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 Purée and press through sieve: 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.

3 Chill: 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.)

4 Process in ice cream maker: 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.

Alternatively, pour into popsicle molds and freeze for rhubarb popsicles!

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  • Kathryn M

    Love the sound of this sorbet and my kids love stewed rhubarb. I don’t have an ice cream maker though. Does anyone have a workaround?

  • Rebekah

    How can you do this recipe without an ice cream maker? Is it possible?? TIA! :)

  • Steve Foisie

    This is a wonderful recipe! The corn syrup addition really smooths out the texture of the sorbet and the ginger piques the rhubarb’s flavors.
    An alternative to this recipe that you may wish to consider is to skip the ginger and orange zest (or reduce by 2/3) and add add culinary lavender (“Munstead” cultivar). After the sugar has dissolved and with the heat turned off, whisk about a dozen stems of fresh lavender in the solution for about 5 minutes. Remove the stems and proceed to step 2 of the recipe above.
    The lavendar adds an elegant, subtle and ethereal fragrance to the sorbet which pairs quite nicely well with the rhubarb.
    The idea for this recipe was developed by Heather Foisie, Seattle

    • Elise Bauer

      Lavender is a great idea Steve, thanks for the suggestion!

  • Siri

    I had great trouble straining, and just ended up leaving the pulp in, it was delicious nonetheless. A great, creamy texture and loads of compliments. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    Well, it’s taken me awhile to get to it, but I finally got some rhubarb and started out on this recipe. I still don’t have an ice cream maker, but thought I would try the ziploc ice cream making strategy then freeze firmer.

    I am just finished straining out the pulp post pureeing in the blender and have found that there is quite a bit of froth on the top (quite tasty too, I might add). I should note that I couldn’t resist adding about a handful or two of fresh picked strawberries, and that might account for the froth?

    Anyway, my question is, should I be skimming that foam off the top before I add the corn syrup, or is best to just incorporate it in the sorbet? While I would bet on the skimming method, it’s rather tasty, don’t want to waste it, so I’m going to go ahead and mix it in, but still await your reply for the next batch. I’ve changed my mind and decided that popsicles are just the thing since it’s going to be so hot tomorrow. With about 6 stalks left, I get to make a another batch!

    • Elise Bauer

      Don’t worry about the foam Michelle, just mix it in with the sorbet.

  • April

    Do you know if this would work with frozen rhubarb? Even when rhubarb is in season, it is almost impossible to find it where I live. I can buy frozen rhubarb though.

  • Sweetdivine

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

    • Elise Bauer

      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.

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

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

  • Emilu

    It tastes amazing! I’ve made almost every recipe on the homepage so far. My mom, of course, taught me. I am twelve and have wanted to be a chef since I was 6. I cook a lot!

  • Maria

    I tried this and LOVED it. I am going to post it, of course I will link to you and give you full credit. Thanks again!

  • Casey

    We made this for Mother’s Day and it was amazing! We left out the ginger since none of us are big fans of the stuff but we may just have to try it next time!

  • 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.