Pear, Riesling, and Ginger Sorbet Recipe

Photograph: Max Falkowitz

When the storage apples of winter lose their autumn crispness, it's best to turn to pears. Pears keep their flavor better through the cold of January, and unlike apples, which are famously finnicky to cook, pears welcome heat with ease.

"Doing so makes for a no-fuss, zero-fat dessert that's just as creamy as ice cream"

One of the easiest ways to cook a pear is to poach it in syrup or wine. Almost as easy: to turn that poached pear into sorbet. Doing so makes for a no-fuss, zero-fat dessert that's just as creamy as ice cream.

Plenty of wines are good for poaching pears, but Riesling is especially nice. Look for one with moderate sweetness but good acidity that has an alcohol content around 12%.

Once we're talking Riesling, we might as well talk ginger, too. It goes fabulously with pears, but its clean, crisp heat also jives with Riesling's mineral backbone. There's a lot of ginger in this sorbet, enough to ensure a real spicy kick. Tone it down if you're feeling timid but don't be afraid to go full-throttle.

Recipe Facts



Active: 60 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 3 ripe pears (about 1 1/4 pounds, 2 1/4 cups chopped)

  • 1 1/2 cups Riesling (see note)

  • 3 tablespoons ginger, chopped

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine pears, Riesling, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to very low heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

  2. Carefully transfer pears, wine, and ginger to blender and add sugar. Cover very tightly and purée until smooth, about 30 seconds.

  3. Pour through a strainer into an airtight container and stir in lemon juice and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, about 4 hours.

  4. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Special equipment

blender, ice cream maker

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
0g Fat
39g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 81mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 115mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)