Sorbet is as refreshing as dessert gets—but so many versions are cloyingly sweet. In this recipe, a few bonus ingredients make all the difference: lime juice, salt, dark chocolate, and chipotle powder. I call for a generous 3 tablespoons of lime juice, to be adjusted to taste, depending on how sweet your fruit is. Because of all the fruit and sugar, the mixture can handle a lot more citrus than you’d expect. Add in small increments and, once you think it’s almost there, add a little more. (And yes, lemon works, too!) The salt can also be tweaked to taste, just don’t skip it altogether. And if you want some flaky salt sprinkled on top, why not? Try to find a chocolate that’s 67% cacao or higher (often labeled dark or bittersweet). Its sultry flavors make the whole sorbet more interesting. And, while you’re at it, spice the chocolate with some smoky chipotle powder. Just a little (¼ teaspoon!) adds warmth and kick, while still letting the fruit shine. Honey mangoes (also known as Ataulfo or champagne mangoes) have an ultra-creamy flesh, with very few fibers. As you’d expect, this turns into an ultra-creamy mango sorbet. If you can’t find honey mangoes, other mango varieties will work, too—just make sure they’re very ripe. And if mango isn’t your thing, give another fruit sorbet the chocolate-chile treatment. Strawberry, apricot, peach, nectarine, or cherry would all be great. You can also pour this churned sorbet into ice pop molds, for dessert on the go. —Emma Laperruque
about 5 cups
2 1/2 pounds
very ripe honey mangoes (also goes by Ataulfo, champagne)
freshly squeezed lime juice, adjusted to taste
If you’re using a frozen-bowl machine, Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is in the freezer for at least 24 hours before starting the recipe.
Cut the mangoes and remove the skin. (They should be too ripe to use a peeler, so I find it easiest to just use a knife to de-skin each piece, almost like removing the skin from fish.) Add the mango to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the sugar, water, lime juice, and salt. Blend again until it’s as smooth as can be. Refrigerate until very cold.
When it’s totally chilled, stick a loaf pan (or whatever container you’re transferring the ice cream into) in the freezer. Churn the sorbet in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. (For me, this takes about 30 minutes.)
When the sorbet is a couple minutes away from being done, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or a double-boiler on the stove until it’s smooth and shiny. Add the chipotle powder and salt. Mix and taste. Adjust the spice and salt as needed.
Using a fork or spoon, drizzle the chocolate into the churning machine in a thin-as-possible stream. It will immediately harden as soon as it hits the cold sorbet into shards and flakes. If it gets clumped up at all in the machine, just use a silicone spatula to break it up.
After you’ve added all the chile-chocolate, transfer the mixture to the chilled container in the freezer. Freeze the sorbet for at least 4 hours before serving.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.