Have you had tasted yuzu (柚子) before? This citrus fruit tastes like a combination of lemon, mandarin orange, and grapefruit. Yuzu juice and peel are used in Japanese cuisine especially in fall/winter when it’s in season.
Having fresh yuzu in the kitchen really excites me not only because they are rare fruits outside of Japan, but the amazing fragrance and flavor of yuzu in the air awaken my senses. If you have the chance and come across fresh yuzu, you must make this Yuzu Sorbet (柚子のシャーベット).
Every year during yuzu season, I buy one or two yuzu fruits to enjoy. They are quite expensive at the local Japanese supermarkets and to be honest, they are hard to find elsewhere. Some readers told me that farmers’ market in their local area sometimes sell them. So if you do see fresh yuzu, you know you’ve just found yourself gold as they are hard to find.
Fresh Fruit for Yuzu Sorbet
This year, Santa came early for me. My friends have two yuzu trees that started to produce fruits this year and I was so fortunate to pick my own fresh yuzu fruits off from their trees.
Unlike lemon or lime, each yuzu produces very little amount of juice as they have these gigantic seeds inside those small fruits. So even though I had 40 yuzu to use in total, the amount of juice extracted was not much. I made yuzu sorbet and marmalade and stored the rest of the juice/peel in freezer.
Super Easy Yuzu Sorbet Recipe
This yuzu sorbet is very, VERY easy to make with or without an ice cream maker. I started with an ice cream maker but had to stop the churning early as I had to leave the kitchen (one of those “multi-tasking” leading to failed project incidents) and the sorbet was still too loose. So I finished off making the sorbet with manual method.
This no-ice-cream-machine method doesn’t require much effort. You just need to stir the sorbet every 30-60 minutes while it’s in the freezer until it’s done. I recommend making the sorbet after dinner so you can set a timer for every 30-60 minutes and stir the sorbet while you are watching your TV shows or relaxing.
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- 6 large yuzu
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- Make simple syrup first. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Whisk the mixture until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Clean the yuzu thoroughly. For 2 yuzu, zest the entire yuzu fruits into a small bowl using a microplane or grater. Be sure to zest only the thin outer peel or colored portion (do not zest bitter white part). Then cut the fruits crosswise in half for juicing (Step 4).
- For the other 4 yuzu, cut off the top ¼ of the yuzu to make a cup and lid.
- Squeeze juice out of all the yuzu (4 yuzu cups from Step 3 and 2 yuzu from Step 2). Strain the juice into the small bowl, making sure to separate the seeds. You should have about ¼ cup of juice and zest.
- Hollow out 4 yuzu cup with a spoon. Be careful not to tear the yuzu cups when you are removing the seeds and flesh.
- Add the yuzu zest and yuzu juice into the simple syrup and combine well. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. I put the saucepan in the refrigerator directly, but it takes more time to cool as the saucepan is still a bit warm.
- Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn for 20-25 minutes until frozen.
- Transfer to a shallow container and smooth out the surface. Stuff the yuzu sorbet in the 4 yuzu cups and put the lid on. Place the yuzu cups tightly in a container so they won’t fall. Store the yuzu sorbet and yuzu cups in the freezer. If the yuzu sorbet is still watery after you finished churning, you can continue with no-ice-cream-maker method below.
- Pour the mixture into a container (preferably metal), cover, and place the mixture in the freezer . Stir with a fork every 30-60 minutes to get rid of any large ice lumps until the sorbet becomes smooth and frozen throughout, about 2-3 hours.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.