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Light Summer Dessert: Peach Buttermilk Sherbet

I'm focused on making ice creams and frozen desserts. I think it's the heat here. We've had an early, hot, and humid summer, and I need something to cool off. I've also been out in the garden hauling mulch, topsoil, compost, and plants. And digging and replanting ferns, hostas, and Creeping Jenny. I'm trying to create a shade garden in an area that hasn't grown grass for years. It's a big project--one that, in retrospect, might best have been left to professionals. Nonetheless, I'm frugal (i.e., cheap), and I know how I want my garden to look (well, sort of...). So, with all the planting, heat, etc., I figure frozen treats are in order. That said, I can't completely fall off the wagon and splurge on Haagen Daz (or, as one of my previous posts suggested, Halo Top, because it's sort of gross). What am I to do? Go for sherbets, which are naturally lighter than ice cream. I opted for peach sherbet, which my husband likes and seems suited for summer. Unfortunately, the peaches that have arrived in our grocery stores are pretty tasteless. To try to fix that problem and limit the sherbet cost, I opted for frozen peaches and simmered them on the stove with some sugar until they formed a jam-like puree. The puree worked like a charm to infuse my sherbet with sweet peach flavor. I also used buttermilk, which though you may not want to drink it straight, gives the sherbet a nice tang--kind of like yogurt. Making the sherbet involves several steps, but none are onerous, and most of the time involved is chilling time. The final product--velvety smooth buttermilk sherbet with a soft, sweet peach essence--is worth the hassle. Now, if only I can enlist my son to help me haul stepping stones for my garden....

Low-Fat Peach Buttermilk Sherbet

Peach Buttermilk Sherbet -- Serves 6

Peach Puree

16 ounces (about 4 cups) of frozen peaches

3/4 cup of sugar

1-2 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring them to a boil over medium heat, stirring them periodically. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continuing to stir the peach mixture periodically, let it cook until the peaches break down and the mixture becomes thick and jam-like in consistency. Let the puree cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours.


1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup of light corn syrup (not containing high fructose corn syrup--check the label)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 cup of low-fat milk (1 percent)

1 1/2 cups of low-fat buttermilk

Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, salt, and lemon juice together until well blended. Whisk in the milk and buttermilk and refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours. When you're ready to make the sherbet, pour the base into your ice cream maker and let it churn according to the manufacturer's directions. When the sherbet is almost, but not quite ready, pour in 1 cup of the peach puree (about half) and let the mixture continue to churn until it's ready. Remove the sherbet from the ice cream maker, put in in a plastic tub or container, and put it in the freezer for at least an hour to continue freezing. If you've left the sherbet to freeze overnight, leave it on the counter for at least 5 minutes before scooping it. Serve the sherbet topped with the extra peach puree or serve the sherbet "as is" and save the extra puree for breads, waffles, or muffins.

Peach Buttermilk Sherbet

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