It seems there’s quite a demand for a loquat sorbet recipe. I’ve actually been planning to make one for a while, but a request from a reader in Malta (echoed by others in Israel) told me that now’s the time — after all, the season’s almost over. So, as the weather becomes warmer, what better way to serve our last loquats than frozen into a smooth sorbet with mint and lemon?
This sorbet is better when not frozen too hard — it was good (albeit somewhat slushy) straight out of my ice cream maker, as well as 15 minutes after it came out of the freezer the following day. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can probably get a similar result by peeling and seeding the loquats, freezing them until solid, and then blending them with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor.
You’ll want to vary the quantity of sugar based on how sweet your loquats are. Mine were purchased, not home-picked (sadly), and they were very sweet — nearly over-ripe — and also quite hard to peel, even after being dunked in boiling water. On the other hand, I’ve had home-picked loquats that were tart, with thick rubbery peels that came off with little resistance.
For about 1/2 liter of sorbet:
500 grams peeled and pitted loquats (about 750-800 grams with peels and pits)
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons sugar, give or take
1 tablespoon loosely packed mint leaves (about 5 grams)
Peel and pit the loquats. If the peels don’t come off easily, dunk the loquats in boiling water for a few minutes, and then try peeling.
If you’re not using an ice cream maker, put the cleaned loquats into the freezer and freeze until solid.
Finely chop the mint leaves.
Blend the loquats with the mint, lemon juice and zest (the zest adds texture; leave it out if you want a smoother sorbet) in a food processor. If your loquats were not frozen, put the mixture into an ice cream maker for about 1/2 hour, until frozen.
Let the mixture harden a bit in the freezer.