Fragrant tropical fruit blended with creamy coconut milk creates this sweet, cool, and refreshing Papaya Pineapple Sherbet.
Papaya was the fruit that I enjoyed the most every day during my trip to Kauai. They are grown everywhere on the island and have a sweet floral note that papayas from Central America seem to be lacking. I am a huge fan of them so I’ll take any kind I can get, but I think that someone who finds conventional papaya to be too funky-smelling would find Hawaiian papaya more pleasant. I don’t often see Hawaiian papayas in the market here so I used regular papaya for this sherbet and the result was great.
You’ll want to use a ripe, sweet papaya, so if it is still hard, let it sit on your counter a few days to soften and become fragrant. If you are using an ice cream maker for this recipe, the key is to have your mixture be very cold before churning. Refrigeration for six hours or overnight is best. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, no problem; you can freeze the mixture, break it up into chunks, then blend it smooth in a food processor.
The addition of pineapple, another ubiquitous Hawaiian treat, adds much-needed tanginess and the coconut milk, standing in for the dairy that’s present in traditional sherbets, adds a light creaminess. Serve it as is in cups or in cones. Or serve a scoop or two over thinly sliced fruit and garnish with some fresh herbs like mint, basil, or lemon verbena. I know papaya can be a divisive fruit, but for the papaya fans out there this sherbet is a nice summery treat.
- 3 cups chopped papaya
- 1 cup chopped pineapple (can be fresh or frozen)
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- 4 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, or palm sugar, or regular sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- In a blender combine the papaya, pineapple, coconut milk, turbinado sugar, and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
- You have two options to make this sherbet: using an ice cream maker or using a food processor.
- If you are using an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to a covered container and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Then churn the sherbet in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remove from the ice cream maker and spread the soft sherbet into a parchment-lined loaf pan or other container. Cover the surface with a piece of parchment and wrap the top of the loaf pan with aluminum foil before freezing until set.
- If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can pour the blended mixture into a large zipper-top freezer bag. Freeze the mixture with the bag laying down in the freezer (so you end up with a thin, breakable layer of the mixture). After the mix has frozen completely, break up the frozen sherbet into pieces (while still in the bag), then transfer the chunks to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Take this smooth sherbet and transfer it to a freezer safe container and let it set back up.
- To serve the sherbet, remove the container from the freezer around 10-15 minutes beforehand to let it come to the perfect texture (it would be too hard to try to serve it right from the fridge, but if you take it out beforehand, it scoops nicely). Serve as is or on top of some sliced or chopped fruit.