July 12, 2011


After a magical year-long travel adventure with my family, I was kinda scared to come home and have it all end.

But now that I am here in our Berkeley house, it feels sooooo good.... seeing friends and family, sleeping in my cushy bed, checking out my jungle-like backyard. And being the food-obsessed person I am, I am blown away by the abundance of good eats. I have always known what a special, lush food world we have here in the Bay Area, but after being away for a year, I am stunned to come back to this food-lovers paradise.

Every trip to Monterey Market is a dream of stone fruits, juicy berries, countless herbs, tomatoes, cheeses, farm eggs. It is almost too much deliciousness for me to take in. We've been going to the market every day, buying just enough ingredients to toss together summer salads, morning fruit, and simple dinners. My cooking is a little rusty (a few steps beyond rustic!) after being away and having really limited access to ingredients and kitchen supplies. Now, with sharp knives, a working stove, a spacious fridge, and endless gorgeous produce, I am getting back into my old Berkeley cooking groove and it feels damned good.

In honor of summer and my love for Berkeley, I give you this homecoming recipe from Chez Panisse Desserts. It couldn't be more simple and it is totally yummy. I have always been a fan of sherbet, especially Rainbow Sherbet: Lindsey Remolif Shere's Nectarine Sherbet has the all festive fun of childhood without the naughty chemicals - the vibrant flavor and playful "sherbet" color are all thanks to mother nature. Does it get better than this?

(Keep in mind that this dessert is only as good as its ingredients - make sure you use sweet, fragrant, ripe nectarines.) 

By the way, I made this sherbet without an ice cream machine, so there's excuse not give this easy recipe a try...

INGREDIENTS - adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere
  • 1 3/4 pounds ripe nectarines (or peaches)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • lemon juice
  • (Shere suggests a splash of kirsch to taste. I didn't use any, although I'm sure it's good.)

First, wash nectarines.

Remove the pits, and rough chop nectarine flesh.  (If you use peaches, Shere suggest removing the peels, but this is not necessary with nectarines.) Place chopped fruit and 2 tablespoons of water into a heavy bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven. Stew nectarines for 10-15 minutes, over low heat, until they are warmed through.

Scoop warmed nectarines into a blender or food processor. You may need to do a couple of batches depending on the size of your blender. Don't fill the blender too high, or you could burn yourself with the hot fruit. Puree until smooth. Add sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and blend again. Taste for sweetness and add a little more sugar if you think it needs it.

You should have about 3 cups of puree.

(If you have an ice cream maker, go ahead and follow its instructions.)

If you are going old-school, as I did, transfer the puree into a freezable container. I used one of my glass storage bowls that has a lid. Place the covered puree in the fridge until it cools. When the fruit has cooled, put the container in the freezer. Every thirty to forty five minutes, thoroughly stir the fruit mixture. Be sure to especially scrape the frozen bits on the sides of the bowl and keep the mix well integrated, and smooth. (I used a metal soup spoon to do my stirring, but you could also use a whisk, wooden spoon, or even try an egg beater.) After a few hours of freezing and stirring, you are ready to eat.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Makes about 1 quart. 


  1. Yusss! I love when ice cream (and other assorted treats such as sherbet) recipes are freezer-mix-freezer-mix-freezer based!

    As excited as I am to visit my parents in August and make ice cream with their old crank machine, depositing approximately 12 pounds of rock salt into the lawn and killing the grass in the process, I do prefer your method from above:)

    Now I know why I bought all those nectarines last night!

  2. Not having an ice cream machine was so going to be my excuse, but not any more :)
    I just have to wait for some warmer days now.

    Good to hear you're adjusting back to your life, do you think you will miss the adventure?

  3. Mmmhhh, delicious and refreshing! Those are pretty bowls...



  4. Thanks Emma. You won't believe how easy this sherbet is! My husband and I want to whip up some sherbet, sorbet or ice cream on a daily basis now. Dangerous!

    M, no excuse;) And what happened to our gorgeous weather? I want it back. I'm sure we will miss our adventure, but home life is sweet too. We do hope to make travel a more regular part of our lives - the world is so big and varied. I hate to miss out on all that's out there!

    Thanks Rosa! My father-in-law in a potter and made the bowls. Aren't they sweet?


  5. Hi, I found your blog from TasteSpotting & immediately added you to my reader. This recipe looks insanely delicious and refreshing. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Welcome home! I've enjoyed living vicariously through your photos these past months, but know how good it must feel to be back. Happy cooking!

  7. The color is just amazing in that sorbet. I love that book. One of my fave recipes in there is the almond torte. Never fails to please when I serve it at a dinner party.

  8. Hey Jackie, Thanks for the nice comment. So glad you like the recipe - it really is tasty!

    Hi Jess, Thanks for the welcome home. It really does feel good to be back!

    Carolyn, Isn't that color amazing? Thank you nature:) And thanks for the tip on the almond torte - I've never tried making that one. I cannot get enough almond desserts!


  9. Those bowls are so cute and colorful! Your FIL is talented!

    I love nectarine. And I have an ice cream maker and haven't made ice cream so far this summer. Will have to try this sooon!

  10. It is great to be home! I will never complain about the ease with which we can just pop down to the market for farm-fresh goodies here in Berkeley.
    Look at how that sherbert glows in the afternoon light!

  11. Jenn, my FIL is super talented and we are lucky enough to have a house (and kitchen) full of his goodies! Hope you like the recipe:)

    P, :)

  12. E,
    Welcome home! I just bought a boatload of apricots (instead of nectarines) and though of making a sherbet out of it. I made my son a pie instead. Sometimes it is so weird when I go to make something and poof! It's already on your site...so then I HAVE to go and try yours out. I love it. Same wave length I guess. Back to the store to try sorbet with apricots that are on sale, we ate all the nectarines.
    Beautiful picture and I love love love the bowls.

  13. Welcome home!

    I can't wait till the nectarines and peaches are ripe here so that I can put them into sherbet. I love the rainbow stuff too but haven't had it in years and years

  14. Oli, it's fun to be on same wave length with you:)

    Hey Stephanie, I think you'll love the ease of the recipe. Plus it really does satisfy that childhood craving for sherbet.


  15. Just came back from Berkeley Bowl with a whole bag of nectarines and started googling what to do when....VOILA!

  16. Deepa! That makes me so happy. And I hope you dig the recipe - it's so damned good and easy!


  17. i ogled your photos on my iphone yesterday before the camino dinner but i hadn't read your post yet. i just found a quiet moment. so lovely. ah, berkeley. you really do capture its bounty, beauty, and simplicity.

    and oh my goodness. i'm so thrilled that you are home. we're back in your kitchen. one of my favorite places!

    i've never tried the no-machine method but i'm going to now.

    and thanks for the link, girl. wow.

  18. Phyllis! Such a great welcome home gift to share a table with you guys at the Camino feast. I loved meeting your parents, who are so totally cool!

  19. You're home just in time for all the delicious summer fruits and veggies!
    I just made my own banana "ice cream" yesterday, and it turned out amazing. It was just a frozen banana, honey and lime juice in the food processor. I couldn't believe how good it was. I'm ready to try a new fruit, so I can't wait to make your nectarine recipe.
    Thanks for sharing!

  20. Angela, I've been meaning to try banana ice cream myself. I hear it is so creamy (without any cream) and delish! I love your addition of lime and honey. Yum!

  21. i LOVE the fact you have included instructions for people stuck in the olden age without an ice cream maker like myself :) this looks so refreshingly summery! I too coincidentally posted a chez panisse recipe this morning but my effort doesnt look even half as beautiful as yours :)

  22. Oh I love th elook of this. Cannot wait until what we call 'stone fruit season' when fruits like nectarines are plentiful, to try this out.

  23. Delightful:) I ended up making this yesterday as temperatures soared, and I was ready for something cool. Sure enough, it turned out great!

  24. Procrastobaker,
    I have got to try that Chez Panisse almond torte, now that both you and Carolyn Jung have mentioned it. Sounds delish. Hope you enjoy this recipe as well - this one is so easy it almost feels like cheating:)

    Bronnie, thanks so much! Aren't stone fruits just pure yum!

    Emma, I am so glad to hear you liked the recipe! Your comment made me smile this morning:)

  25. UstabahippieJuly 18, 2011

    Nothing like the Bay Area for food....I printed this one out so fast!

  26. UstabahippieJuly 18, 2011

    Forgot, I made the Chez Panisse Plum Upsidedown Cake, unbelievable.

  27. Ustabahippie, We really are ridiculously lucky to live in this place of such tasty abundance! Ooooh Plum Upsidedown cake must have been amazing with all the juicy plums right now. I've never tried that recipe. Thanks for the rec:)

  28. I remembered I was going to give you a link to where we stayed in Saignon, Provence, France. Here it is...
    Sarah from "Snippets of Thyme"

  29. Thanks so much for the link. Now I am dreaming of France:)

  30. Beautiful blog & sherbet recipe....linking back to this today :)


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