Piña Colada Sorbet

Piña Colada Sorbet
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pineapple coconut sorbet
Cool and refreshing!

Well, not really Piña Colada, since there’s no alcohol involved, just fresh pineapple, coconut, and a bit of lemon juice. But, pineapple and coconut are a perfect flavor match that just can’t go wrong. Right now, at least here in Tucson, gold pineapples are coming into the stores with great sale prices. We’ve been buying three or four pineapples each week.

With that many pineapples, while we eat a lot of them just cut and chilled, we do have to find another use, too, so we thought of pineapple sorbet. We started making it, but changed our minds partway through and added coconut. Isn’t that one of the best things about scratching? You can change whatever you’re making to suit what you want, not what some company thinks you want.

Finally, we’ll show this being churned with an ice cream freezer, but we’ve read (although we haven’t tested it here in the Scratchin’ Chill Zone) that you can freeze the sorbet mix in a metal bowl, whisking it several times as it freezes. If you try that, let us know how it turns out.

Piña Colada Sorbet.

Yield: about 1 quart

Piña Colada Sorbet.


  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Abbreviated Instructions

Cut pineapple into 1-2 inch chunks. Place in a blender.

Juice lemon and strain juice into the blender.

Blend on high until smooth. Add coconut and sugar and blend again until smooth.

Taste, and adjust with more coconut and sugar, if needed.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions, or by freezing in a metal bowl, whisking every 30 minutes or so.


Ingredient discussion:

No canned pineapple. That stuff is not good. We guess that many people avoid fresh pineapple because it seems daunting to cut apart. We’ll show you how, and, once you’ve cut up a few, you’ll be an expert pineapple cutter. If we’d thought of it sooner, we might have even tried to pick up a fresh coconut, but we had to settle for the flaked kind. Yes, we know, kind of disappointing, but that means you now have the secret for making an even better version of this sorbet.

Procedure in detail:

Cut off top. The first step in cutting a pineapple into chunks is to cut off the top with the leaves. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife. You can plant this top and grow your own pineapple, if you wish.

preparing pineapple
Once the top is off, just start cutting away the skin on the sides.

Cut off sides. Stand the pineapple on the bottom and work your way around the pineapple, cutting off the outer skin by slicing in a downward motion with your chef’s knife. Don’t worry if some of the eyes aren’t trimmed off; we’ll get to that soon.

Cut off bottom. Turn the pineapple on the side and chop off the bottom. You’re nearly finished. Yay!

preparing fresh pineapple
You can see how we cut notches to remove the eyes; after that, it’s slice and core.

Cut out eyes. With the pineapple on its side, work your way around, cutting out the eyes. You can often line up several eyes and cut a ‘V’- shaped notch under them, then just pop off the small strip of pineapple, including the eyes.

preparing pineapple
We quarter each slice, then cut off the pointy part that contains the core.

Slice and chop. Now, simply slice the pineapple into pieces about 3/4 inch thick, quarter, and cut off the core. Slice each quarter in half and you have perfectly- sized pieces. To keep up your strength, you might need to eat a piece or two of pineapple as you work. We always do.

straining lemon juice
Strain the seeds out of the lemon juice; we don’t think they would add much to the flavor. Oh, we think the lemon juice is to preserve the color of the pineapple.

Juice and strain. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and strain it into your blender. The only reason you need to strain the juice is to eliminate the seeds.

Blend. Add the pineapple to the blender with the lemon juice, and process everything on high. If needed, push down the pineapple pieces and continue blending until smooth. Your blender will determine how long this will take.

adding coconut
You can add coconut, or not; it’s your choice.

Add coconut and sugar and blend. Feel free to taste the pineapple at this point and decide if you want coconut. If so, add it, and blend again until very smooth.

Taste and adjust. Taste the mixture. This is your chance to make it perfect for you, so add more coconut, or sugar, as needed, until it’s perfect. Ours was so good, it was tempting to have a small glass right then and there. We resisted the temptation.

pineapple and coconut sorbet mix
Once blended smooth, refrigerate overnight for easy and quick churning.

Chill. Transfer the liquid to a medium-sized bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. This will help it freeze in the ice cream churn, plus it’ll allow the flavors to meld. Both good things.

churning sorbet
We use a KitchenAid ice cream attachment. It took us years to decide if we wanted one. We did.

Churn. If you have one, set up your ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, you can try placing the sorbet mix in a metal bowl in the freezer. Then, every 30 minutes, or so, take it out and give it a good whisking to help keep large ice crystals from forming.

packed sorbet
The size of your pineapple will determine how much sorbet you get; ours made about a quart.

Pack and freeze. Once churned, pack into an airtight container and keep in the freezer.

This sorbet had a super pineapple and coconut flavor; however, it froze very solidly — not enough sugar. A quick search on the Internet gave us a nice rule of thumb for making sorbet: add 1/4 cup of sugar for every cup of fruit purée. We’ve modified the recipe above, and will be testing out this rule in the future, so keep watching. Four stars.

Worth the trouble?

2 Replies to “Piña Colada Sorbet”

  1. We knew a guy in Houston with a ChE and Rice MBA who gave up the corporate life and bought an ice cream shop. Despite his background, he feigned no understanding of why his rum-raisin flavor, in particular, was so incorrigibly soft. My guess was that somewhere closer to minus 172F it would finally freeze. Anyhow, just a thought that alcohol might be as effective a softening agent as the extra sugar should your proclivities allow.

    1. Alcohol is effective at keeping the sorbet soft, and, as you point out, sometimes too soft. We had that happen with our Grapefruit and Champagne Sorbet which was about half melted by the time we got it into bowls.

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