Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet
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buttermilk strawberry sherbet
Not sorbet, sherbet!

This is the last strawberry post for a while. We promise. Even after all the dishes we made with strawberries over the last week, we still had about a pound and a half of strawberries left to use. Too much for just eating, but just right for a pint or so of jam, or some sorbet. We thought about the sorbet for a while because we really liked how that turned out, but then we thought we’d try making some sherbet.

Now, we’ve never made sherbet, but we know it’s pretty much like sorbet with some dairy added. It could be cream for a richer sherbet, or simply milk for a lighter sherbet. Ultimately we went with buttermilk to give our sherbet just a slight tang.

This is another of the Scratchin’ central originals, based on the strawberry-lime sorbet and the knowledge of sherbet having dairy.

Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (optional, but recommended)

Abbreviated Instructions

Place buttermilk and strawberries in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Add sugar, and blend to incorporate. Taste and add more sugar as needed.

Add vinegar, if using, and blend to incorporate. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Set up ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's directions.

Pack in an airtight container and freeze.

Ingredient discussion:

The amount of sugar you use will depend on the ripeness of the strawberries, which you should taste beforehand. It could be that, with very ripe strawberries, you won’t even need 1/4 cup of sugar. White balsamic vinegar is a clear version of something resembling balsamic vinegar (at least ours is) and not true balsamic vinegar. It still tastes good, and it works in places where you don’t want the dark colors from regular balsamic vinegar. We always make our buttermilk. It’s easy, so you might want to try it, too.

Procedure in detail:

buttermilk and strawberries
Buttermilk will give your sherbet a slight tangy taste, like frozen yogurt.

Blend. Place the strawberries and buttermilk in a blender and blend on high-speed until smooth. Depending on your blender, this can take anything from a minute to probably 5 minutes. If needed, scrape down the sides of the blender from time to time.

adding sugar to sherbet
You’re the one to decide how much sugar your strawberries need, and that’s only by tasting, adding, and mixing.

Sweeten. Give your sherbet mix a taste to help figure out how much sugar you should add. If it’s already a bit sweet, add less than the recommended amount of sugar, and blend to mix in. Remember, you can always add more sugar, but it’ll be troublesome to remove any. Continue adding sugar, blending and tasting until it’s just right. Add the vinegar, if using, and blend in.

sherbet mix
Chilling the sherbet mix overnight will help it freeze faster and better.

Chill. Pour the sherbet mix into a non-reactive (glass) bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or, preferably, overnight. This will help the sherbet freeze up faster, making a smoother dessert.

churned sherbet
More air is incorporated into sherbet than sorbet, making for a lighter dessert.

Churn. Set up your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s direction and churn your sherbet until smooth and frozen to the point it looks like soft-serve.

Pack. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze. Or serve as soft-serve. Your choice.

While this is a good sherbet, we found that it wasn’t all that different from sorbet — we ate some side by side to compare. When churning, it fluffed up more than sorbet, and it also has a slightly creamier texture, but not that much different, making us think that we should have increased the amount of buttermilk. Regardless, it’s a good frozen treat, and, with the temperatures already hitting the high 80’s, we think that frozen treats are a good thing. Four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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