Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, granita — if it’s a frozen dessert, I’ll try it.

Every time I come across new flavors in magazines, newspapers, books and websites, I test the recipes.

There’s a lot of trial and error — sometimes flavors are too intense or too strange to please my palate. Other times the recipes are too complex, making them not worth the time to cook, chill and freeze.

But when I find a winning combination, I like to share. I recently tried a spicy pineapple sorbet that includes cilantro and serrano chili peppers.

Skeptical at first of adding cilantro to a frozen dessert, I thought about how well it works in some fruit-based salsas I’ve made and decided to give it a try.

The result was surprisingly delicious.

While sorbet is icy and doesn’t include cream, the resulting recipe was smooth and satisfying.

The sweet pineapple pairs perfectly with the spicy kick of cilantro and chili pepper.

It’s a combination any fan of Latin-inspired foods will love. I might even kick up the heat when I make another batch using hotter peppers.

If you’re looking for a new twist on a cold treat, give this sorbet a shot.



8 servings (makes 1 quart)

For the base

2 cups simple syrup (see NOTE)

½ cup water

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Pinch kosher salt

For the sorbet

Flesh of 1 very ripe pineapple, chopped (no core)

6 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

1 serrano chili pepper, stemmed and seeded

For the base: Combine the simple syrup, water, lemon juice and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir until well blended.

For the sorbet: Combine the pineapple, cilantro and serrano in a food processor or blender to make a smooth puree. Pour into the simple syrup mixture and stir until well blended, then pour into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Scrape the sorbet into a freezer-safe container. Seal and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 2 cups water and 2¼ cups sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool completely before using.

Nutrition per ½-cup serving: 250 calories, 0 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 62 g sugar

Adapted from “Coolhaus Ice Cream Book: Custom-Built Sandwiches With Crazy-Good Combos of Cookies, Ice Creams, Gelatos & Sorbets,” by Natasha Case, Freya Estreller and Kathleen Squires (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).

M. Clare Haefner loves making homemade ice cream. Contact her at or 254-501-7551.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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