How Your Favorite Canned Fruit Can Double As One-Ingredient Sorbet

Canned fruit is great to have on hand as a snack on its own, a topping for yogurt or cottage cheese, or to upgrade gelatin desserts. Of course, it can also be transformed into something else entirely. With no other additions, you can turn canned fruit into a delicious sorbet that couldn't be easier to make. This is an old-school method that has made the rounds on social media and is one of many creative ways to use canned fruit cocktail. The good news is that this shortcut sorbet totally stands the test of time. That's because fruit sorbet is made by churning simple syrup and fruit together, and canned fruit is essentially fruit preserved in syrup. In essence, it's basically a ready-to-use sorbet mixture.

If you have a kitchen gadget like a Ninja Creami, simply freeze a can of fruit with all the liquid in the canister, and then load it into the machine and churn away. You can also blend up a can of fruit in the blender, dump it into a regular ice cream maker, and let it do its thing. The result will be a dreamy fruit sorbet that requires almost no prep work.

How to make canned fruit sorbet without a specialized machine

Some sort of device that churns the mixture will yield the creamiest results. However, a food processor or blender will also create something smooth and delicious. You can actually start by popping whole, unopened, cans of fruit into the freezer for at least 12 hours. When you are ready to use them, dunk the cans in hot tap water and then open the can. The frozen cylinder of fruit should slide right out. You can either carefully cut the frozen chunk into pieces with a sharp knife, or snip it apart with a pair of kitchen shears. Transfer the pieces to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth, periodically scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to help it along.

If you don't want to mess with a potentially unwieldy frozen cylinder, you can also blend the canned fruit in the blender, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then you can blitz those frozen cubes to create a soft serve-like sorbet.

Tips for making the best canned fruit sorbet

Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup will work best here, but no need to worry about your sorbet being overly sweet. Once frozen, the perception of sweetness is somewhat dulled. Fruit canned in light syrup or fruit juice will still work, but the texture will likely be a bit more icy.

After you process the frozen fruit into sorbet, the texture will be quite soft. If you envision serving lovely scoops of your creation, you will definitely want to chill it in the freezer. Just transfer the blended mixture to a baking dish or loaf pan first, so it is easy to scoop later on.

While a simple sorbet is a lovely way to end a meal or cool off on a hot afternoon, these canned fruit creations are a great opportunity to get creative. Add fresh herbs, citrus zest, or a little booze to the mixture. Just don't be too heavy-handed on the alcohol, or the sorbet won't set properly. Try blending frozen canned cherries with cherry liqueur and then top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Go elegant with a can of frozen peaches blended with fresh basil, and add a drizzle of balsamic glaze to serve. Finish a pineapple sorbet with a touch of sweetened condensed milk and toasted coconut. Incorporate yogurt into the mix for a creamy sherbet variation. Now that you've got the method down, you can treat yourself to a variety of easy-to-make fruit sorbets.