Kiwifruit Sorbet

A few weeks ago, I was pushing my cart around the farmstand market where I buy my produce and meats. In a bit of a hurry, I tossed in heads of romaine and red onions, garlic cloves and new potatoes, and various other items destined for the dinner table. By nature, I'm a slow shopper, a browser, a considerer of possibilities. Whenever I can, I like to leisurely stroll the aisles of the market, imagining recipes as I go.

If I find a great piece of meat on sale all the way over at the butcher counter, I may have to double back to the produce section to pick up some mushrooms to saute. A special at the cheese counter on the other side of the store will send me happily back to produce again, to hunt down some red grapes. I'll admit that this stop-and-smell-the-rosemary approach to grocery shopping takes a bit longer. But that's sort of the point.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the reason that my dear husband hates to shop the farmstand market with me. He doesn't cook - at all, ever - so the charm of ingredient browsing is lost on him. Although he's ever by my side on weekly flour-sugar-cereal-laundry detergent-paper towels-cat litter superstore runs (thank heavens!), he doesn't come along to the farmstand market with me, and I don't have to feel rushed there. Except, of course, when I am.

So, I'm not cooking as I go on this day. I'm shopping for a preplanned dinner, which is due to hit the table in an hour or so. It's meant to be a quick shop, just what I need this time, for this one meal. Nevertheless, I can't stop myself from veering past the "marked to move" shelf on my way to the meat case. And it's there, amid the heads of grievously wilted lettuce and postholiday candy, that I find my treasure: a paper sack of tenderly overripe kiwifruit, more than thirty of them, for a mere pittance. I sling it - gently - into my cart and head off in search of steak. Unaccustomed to hurrying, I don't stop to consider what, exactly, I am going to do with nearly three dozen overripe kiwifruit.

It occurs to me that kiwifruit have a lot in common with kittens. Small, fuzzy, beloved by children: they're edible cuteness. Interestingly, kiwifruit are actually berries, hence their other handle, the "Chinese gooseberry."

I like to eat kiwifruit raw, in slices, or diced in fruit salads. I know that if I take the trouble to peel and cut them up, they're one fruit that will not come home in my kids' lunch boxes.

Kiwifruit are high in vitamin C - their tartness gives that away. I didn't realize, however, that they have twice the vitamin C of an orange, or that they're recognized as the most nutrient-dense fruit. Also, a serving of 2 kiwifruit has 4 times more fiber than a cup of chopped celery! Who knew?

Kiwifruit also contain significant amounts of lutein; vitamins E and K; and calcium, folic acid, potassium, iron, magnesium, and copper. A medium kiwifruit has no fat, almost no sodium, 4 grams of fiber, and about 45 calories. Be still my beating heart!

And what did I do with three dozen kiwifruit that turned out to be too soft to eat sliced or diced? Some, I blended into smoothies, with yogurt, orange juice, frozen strawberries from my backyard strawberry patch, and a bit of honey. Others, I blended into kiwi daquiris, both virgin and naughty. But by far the best thing I did with those kiwis was turn them into a wonderful emerald-green sorbet. The pulpy texture of the overripe kiwis turned out to be perfect for this recipe. If you can, get your kiwifruit on the soft side for sorbet - the end result will be a sorbet that is dense and smooth, almost creamy, with no iciness at all.

Kiwifruit Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
10 large kiwifruit, very ripe
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt

1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let sugar syrup boil for 1 minute, stirring; then remove from heat. Let cool over an ice bath, or place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.

2. Peel and quarter kiwifruit; add to food processor with cold sugar syrup, lime juice, vanilla, and salt. Process until smooth puree. Chill kiwifruit puree until cold.

3. Stir puree and add to ice-cream machine; process according to manufacturer's directions. Freeze finished sorbet for at least 3 hours prior to eating.

Makes about 1 quart; adapted from Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.


  1. This is truly the best looking sorbet I've ever seen. The green is amazing and so very kiwi!

  2. I have a kiwi every morning for breakfast and if ripe, it is on of my favorite fruits, so I will keep this recipe in mind. Thank you!

  3. Kiwis are great! Have you ever tried the golden kiwis that are yellow-fleshed instead of green?

  4. I love kiwis but I never manage to make anything with them. This looks really refreshing and the color is beautiful!

  5. those pictures are beautiful! the kiwis lost none of their color when made into sorbet. pretty cool.

  6. Oh my word does that look amazing.

  7. ~The Food Librarian: Thank you so much ~ wow!

    ~Aran: I love kiwis too. Because this sorbet doesn't have much added to it, it tastes just like eating frozen kiwi puree.

    ~Nate-n-Annie: I have never even heard of yellow kiwis before your comment, so of course I had to look them up. Gorgeous!

    ~Jillian: Usually we eat them up before I can make anything other than fruit salad with them, but these were too squishy to eat. (Yay!)

    ~Krysta: Thanks so much! This sorbet is really striking - I've been serving it with a scoop of peach or plum sorbet - the colors are so pretty together.

    ~Sweet Bird: Thanks for your kind words!

  8. That sorbet looks delicious! I love Kiwifruits...



  9. Ohh that color! I love it. I have never heard of this before. Wonderful.
    I also have to say I love that avacado salad you have on here (might have to steal that one).

  10. I just Stumbled this because I think the idea is brilliant. I love Kiwi and never would have thought to make sorbet out of it. Yum!

  11. What a great idea. I love that this kiwi so closely resembles its origins. LOVELY!

  12. Kiwi sorbet! Genius! I love the green color with those dark little flecks, I bet it's terribly refreshing on a hot day. :)

  13. I had to laugh as I read this post. I'm exactly the same kind of food shopper. It drives my family nuts!

    That kiwi sorbet looks wonderful! They are the perfect fruit for a refreshing sorbet.

  14. ~Thanks, everyone for stopping by!

    ~Rosa: Thanks! I love them too - can't get enough!

    ~Dawn: Well, necessity really is the mother of invention, I guess. Both the kiwi sorbet and the avocado salad were inspired by an overabundance of ingredients on hand and I can't bear to throw out good food!

    ~Kristen: Thank you for Stumbling me! I've made sorbet from a bunch of different fruits, and so far, I think kiwis have been one of the most successful, texture-wise. I really recommend it!

    ~Lo: Me, too. I like food that knows where it came from. :)

    ~Ari: Thank you! (she said, blushing.) It's pretty refreshing all right, but I don't object to ice cream in the middle of winter, either. ;)

    ~SGCC: If you're ever in my neck of the woods, let's go grocery shopping together! :)

  15. Is it possible to make this without an ice-cream machine? It looks so yummy I really want to make it and happen to have a few dozen kiwifruits on hand. Thanks!

  16. BFG: I bet you can make this granita-style. Try making the mix and then freezing in a shallow baking dish. Every half hour or so, mix it with a fork. Eventually, it will freeze solid.... to serve, you'll scrape it off the top layer with an ice cream paddle or a large serving spoon. You can try Googling granita recipes for specific techniques, if you like. Good luck!!

  17. thanks for the recipe, I'm off to try it now. It looks really awesome and such a lovely colour! My kids love kiwifruit and icecream so I thought I'd make some sorbet and your's was the first recipe on google!! I don't have an icecream maker but I'll give it a go. cheers.


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