Pineapple sherbet (aka pineapple sorbet) is easy to prepare and can even be infused with flavors from aromatic IPAs for a fun hoppy twist.
Sorbet vs Sherbet – What is the Difference?
In distinguishing between sorbet and sherbet (sometimes incorrectly spelled as sherbert) I must state that the difference I outline in this post is based on guidelines generally accepted by American frozen dessert makers.
Growing up, I knew sherbet to be a cooling sweet juice and water mixture with origins in the Middle East and the British use the term to reference a sweet fruit flavored effervescent powder which can either be eaten alone or added to water to make a fizzy drink.
In the US sorbet refers to a fruit juice based frozen dessert.
The addition of milk or cream, sometimes egg whites or gelatin to the base of a sorbet makes it a sherbet.
In other words, a sherbet is a sorbet with added dairy and hence a notably creamier consistency.
In the case of pineapple sherbet you can use coconut milk as a dairy substitute or a combination of coconut milk and dairy. With the coconut flavors added to the mix the resulting combination is definitely a step up from simply using dairy.
Before experimenting with the IPA pineapple sorbet version of this recipe I used to whip up the occasional pineapple sherbet – pineapple is simply so good in frozen desserts, creamy or not. And when I find myself amidst an abundance of pineapples (if for example they cost 97 cents:), I feel even more compelled to venture into making desserts with the fruit.
Easily turn your pineapple sherbet into a fragrant IPA pineapple sorbet
The base pineapple sherbet recipe provided in this post will allow you to create a mildly creamy and very pineapple-y treat. With minor modifications you can make an IPA pineapple sorbet foodies and craft beering fans can delight in.
Using the right IPA allows you to capture the prized aromas of American hops and create a treat which has an unmistakable and exciting hoppy presence while sweet and citrusy enough to enjoy without any reservations.
When I say the right IPA I am of course being subjective. For the pineapple sorbet I prepared for this post I grabbed Ninkasi Brewing Co. Prismatic. It is a dry-hopped IPA, a new addition to Ninkasi’s Flagship Series (IBU 36, ABV 5.9%).
The predominant notes in Prismatic are of pineapple, with accompanying passion fruit and guava as well as a citrusy touch. Really hoppy overall, yet really low in perceived bitterness and well balanced with subtle malty sweetness. It brought gorgeous hoppy aromas and was very receptive to being sweetened by the fresh pineapple juice and simple syrup.
Speaking of which, I should clarify that I didn’t actually prepare a simple syrup with the Prismatic. I chose not to do that in order to preserve its hoppy aromas. Typically, when making sorbets, ice creams and frozen treats with beer we do make a simple syrup with the beer, unless an IPA is in question and what we are after is having notable fresh hops aroma.
I would also recommend New England style IPAs (NEIPA) for use in this recipe. Their juiciness and creamier mouthfeel will transfer to the mouthfeel of the sorbet, blurring the perceived distinction between sorbet and sherbet. At the same time they are typically low in bitterness and incredibly aromatic.
I really think that the best way to enjoy this particular sorbet is right away – as soon as you prepare it.
If the ice cream maker machine is decent (we have been using this inexpensive, yet very reliable one for years now) the sorbet will have the right consistency and be semi-frozen, perfect to eat before you even freeze it. I like to make it and enjoy a part of it immediately, then freeze the remaining quantity making sure no air gets close to it.
A good air tight container is essential when transferring your pineapple sherbet or pineapple sorbet to the freezer to enjoy at a later time.
IPA Pineapple sorbet is especially refreshing eaten on hot summer days. Duh:)
I will leave you with a playful idea to use your already prepared treat as an ingredient to a satisfying craft beer cocktail.
TIP: Fill a glass with IPA pineapple sorbet, add a shot of rum or tequila, perhaps some orange liquor, a splash of either pineapple juice or IPA, stir and enjoy as a frozen drink. Satisfaction guaranteed!
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Other frozen desserts featuring craft beer as ingredient you may like
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Pineapple Sherbet (or IPA Pineapple Sorbet)
- 1 1/2 large pineapple ripe, not overripe or 1 large pineapple + 1 6-oz can of pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk if making sherbet version
- 1 cup IPA if making IPA sorbet version (NEIPA or dry-hopped, low bitterness tropical fruit IPA or pale ale)
- Start by preparing simple syrup.
- In a small pan over medium heat bring the water to simmer, add the sugar and let simmer until reduced by half. Chill the syrup completely before using.
- Peel, core and slice the pineapple. Blend the pieces in a blender and then strain the resulting fruit puree to capture and remove the fibers.
- Place the strained pineapple puree in a bowl (if using only one pineapple add the pineapple juice) and add the chilled simple syrup and the lime juice.
- If making pineapple sherbet, add the milk.
- If making the IPA pineapple sorbet version, add the IPA.
- Mix very well, refrigerate briefly to chill and just prior to adding to the bowl of your ice cream maker mix very well again.
- Use the ice cream machine as directed in the product instructions.
- Serve the sherbet/sorbet immediately with a slice of fresh pineapple as garnish or place in an airtight container and freeze for later use.