5 Ingredients or Fewer

Peach & Lemon Sorbet From The River Café

June 28, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Oliva Bloch.
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • makes about 1 quart
Author Notes

In honor of Genius Recipes turning 10 years old, and the iconic three-ingredient Strawberry Sorbet from The River Café that started it all, we’re sharing two new sorbet buddies that are even simpler, requiring no special machinery at all. In this one, you need only a sharp knife to cut the peach into juicy-sweet chunks that remain in the sorbet. Serve this at a sorbet party along with the original strawberry flavor or its friend Mascarpone Sorbet, both on Food52, or tucked into a brioche bun, in a seltzer or prosecco float, or all on its own.

A few tips: The tidiest way to peel ripe peaches is to dunk them briefly in boiling water, then quickly cool them in a bowl of ice water (the skins should slip right off). Or you can feel free to leave some or all of the peel on for extra texture and dots of color (and ease). Nectarines or any other ripe stone fruit would make a fine substitute. Superfine, or caster, sugar was used in the original recipe, but if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute an equal weight of granulated sugar (about 1 cup). As Ruth Rogers advises, the most important thing is to taste the fruit and the sorbet before churning and adjust as needed—it should challenge you a little, and feel like the fruit is exploding in your mouth.

Adapted from River Café Cook Book Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers (Ebury Press, 2003).

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Hear more about this recipe from Ruthie herself, on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes. Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 6 ripe but firm yellow peaches (about 500 grams), peeled and pitted
  • 1 large lemon
  • 200 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) superfine sugar
  1. Chop the peaches in roughly 1/3-inch pieces. Finely grate the peel of the lemon over the peaches, then squeeze in the juice. Stir in the sugar and leave for 30 minutes to draw out some syrupy peach juices. Taste and adjust the lemon; it should be strong but not overpower the peach flavor. Freeze in a shallow container, stirring every half hour or so until firm and scoopable, or churn in an ice cream machine. Serve right away or cover and freeze. For the best texture and flavor, eat within a few days. If frozen too hard, let soften for 10 minutes, or until just soft enough to scoop.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Bierema
    Laura Bierema
  • MrsMehitabel
  • Lisa B
    Lisa B
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

3 Reviews

Laura B. July 27, 2022
This is divine. I kept tasting it before it froze (I used a Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment to mix) and will be making another batch soon while peaches are in season. I will probably double it next time as my ice cream maker can handle the volume and it is going to go quickly! I have loved the strawberry sorbet for years. Thank you!
MrsMehitabel August 24, 2021
I'm headed into the kitchen to make this, and since the strawberry kind is so good, I expect great things.

HOWEVER, I must howl to the universe about your awful loud video ads, which randomly pop on and wake the nearly-asleep baby! 9 out of 10 physicians agree that having video ads is a dirtbag move.
Lisa B. July 17, 2021
This was excellent. I admit, though, I changed the recipe slightly because I wanted to incorporate the “whole lemon technique“ used in the Genius recipe for Strawberry Sorbet from the River Café, and I had beautiful fresh peaches. Adjusting for a difference in the amount of fruit used in the two recipes, I rough-chopped half a lemon (rind and all, the Genius part of the Strawberry & Lemon sorbet recipe), and zested and juiced the other half. Wonderful and summery! Tart, not too sweet, full of peach and lemon flavors, and very refreshing.