The first time I made a sorbet (see mango rum sorbet), I did not use an ice cream maker. I had none at the time. I didn’t even know I would get one eventually. So, yes, it is possible to make a sorbet with no fancy equipment. It takes longer though and a lot more work but the result can be just as good and no one will ever know you had to mix it every few hours over a 12-hour period. And that introduction is meant to encourage everyone to make a sorbet, with or without an ice cream maker.
What is a sorbet? Think of it as ice cream but with neither milk nor cream. Like a low-fat version of ice cream. But to call it frozen sweet drink would be misleading. A properly made sorbet scoops like ice cream. It is smooth and evenly textured with no large ice crystals.
Making coconut and lychee sorbet is easy.
Cut the coconut meat and lychees into small pieces. Puree with the coconut water, add the lychee juice and chill.
Pour into your ice cream maker and begin the sorbet-making process. I like watching the liquid turn into lumps. The whirring sound of the machine and the way it goes ’round and ’round is hypnotizing.
But that’s me. You don’t have to do that. Just set a timer and leave the machine to do its work. There’s a lot that you can do in the half hour or so that the machine is turning your chilled puree into sorbet.
Coconut and Lychee Sorbet
The "cook time" specified refers to the processing time in the ice cream machine.
Cut the coconut meat into small pieces. Do the same with the lychees.
Pour the coconut water into the blender. Add the sugar, coconut meat and lychees. Pulse, or process, depending on how fine or coarse you want the coconut meat and lychees. Mix with the lychee juice and chill for several hours.
Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To serve, scoop as you would your ice cream. Top with fresh mint leaves, if you like.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture and, while semi frozen, process in the blender again (or mix vigorously by hand) to break up the ice crystals. Do this every few hours until the texture is smooth. Depending on the temperature of your freezer, the process can take anywhere from six to 12 hours.