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Apricot Sherbet Recipe, from the summer sun

Apricot frozen yogurt pairs my favorite fruit–the beloved of the Lebanese, apricot–with tangy yogurt, which makes this sherbet not too sweet, and completely addictive. It’s remarkable to discover that a sherbet is simply just cooked fruit or fruit juice and sugar (not too much, or the sherbet won’t set and the fruit flavor won’t shine), chilled and then churned in your ice cream maker. That’s sorbet, actually—add a cup of cream and you’ve got sherbet. Add the same of yogurt or labneh instead, and you’ve got frozen yogurt.

Apricot sherbet in tub, Maureen Abood

It’s nothing short of embarrassing when I hear myself complaining about it.

The complaining is about the most mundane thing: the weather. The embarrassment is because when a girl gets married to the best man in the world and completes her first book and her whole family is in this moment healthy and happy, she knows it’s downright pathetic that she’d have a complaint in the world about much of anything, let alone the weather.

And yet. She does. Here’s how it sounds:

This weather! Just stupid-ugly.

If it rains again today, I’m going to…(she trails off with no real threat to give the rain)

I’m so sick of wearing the same summer sweater every day.

I feel like I should make a warm and cozy stew today, not ice cream.

Breakers sunset with clouds, Maureen AboodOne of the few positive things that could be said about the weather up north in Michigan this summer, besides the sometimes beautiful sunsets it produces, is that it’s a lot like San Francisco in summer. You know the Twain quote: the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Except we’re not in San Francisco.

Thing is, we had similar weather last summer. And then the winter of polar vortex. I wish I could joke about having heard on the street more than once in the past week that we can expect snow again up north…in September.

Dan reminded me recently that I haven’t made a single batch of ice cream this summer (no stew, either). He remembers a salted caramel dream I made last summer, and tub after tub that I twirled out during cookbook recipe development over the winter. It’s been months, he groaned.

Apricot baskets, Maureen Abood
Apricot close-up, Maureen Abood

I came up with every excuse I could think of, from wedding to book to blog, but the biggest one to which no retort could be made? Too cold for ice cream, man. That held no water, though, since Dan knows all too well that I’ve never let the weather keep me from a cone, (and neither has he).

I suspect the Mr. is not expecting apricot sherbet for the ice cream response to his request. But I’ve been thinking on developing this recipe ever since I tasted something like it back in January when I was in the sunny south visiting my snowbird mother and my brother Richard and co. who live in that balmy bliss year round. The apricot flavor will slap you in the face, it’s that tart and good (those who know my sister can tell from that slap-phrase that I’ve been hanging out with her a lot this summer…). Besides, when I saw the pretty little apricots at the market I realized the sun must have been out once or twice here to have produced such bounty of my favorite–the Lebanese favorite–fruit. The taste of the apricots-turned-sherbet is so WOW, it will transform any and all bad weather juju into just what a beautiful summer it’s been up north in Michigan.

Apricot sherbet, Maureen Abood
Apricot sherbet with ice cream scoop

Apricot Sherbet

Maureen Abood
It’s remarkable to discover that a sherbet is simply just cooked fruit or fruit juice and sugar (not too much, or the sherbet won’t set and the fruit flavor won’t shine), chilled and then churned in your ice cream maker. That’s sorbet, actually—add a cup of cream and you’ve got sherbet. Add the same of yogurt or labneh instead, and you’ve got frozen yogurt.
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • 1 pound ripe apricots
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • Pit the apricots by simply splitting them in half with your fingers. Coarsely chop them, leaving the skin on.
  • In a heavy medium saucepan, bring the apricots and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover, cooking until the apricots are broken down and very soft, about 5 minutes. Lift the lid now and then to stir the pot and take in the scent of summer.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice and taste. If the apricots need more sweetening, add more sugar a tablespoon at a time until it tastes perfect.
  • Puree the apricots in a food processor or blender. Add the cream and puree until combined.
  • Chill the mixture quickly by pouring it into a zip-lock bag and immersing the bag into a bowl of ice water. Massage the bag numerous times, opening the top of the bag to release steam. Or, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.
  • Pour the cold apricot mixture into your ice cream maker and churn. Serve the apricot sherbet soft right away, or freeze for a couple of hours for a harder, colder effect.


  1. Janet Kalush Moore on August 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    I was at the market too yesterday and purchased the fresh beautiful round orange fruit….and have already eaten 3 of them. They have been beautiful and abundant this summer. I remember my mother never would buy the Turkish dried apricots because she said the California were soooo much better. Either my Aunt or Uncle would send her some from CA. I will keep buying Apricots and Cherries until I can’t find them any more. Love, love,love them…

  2. Diane Nassir (my maternal grandmother was an Abowd from Ammun, Leb.) on August 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Maureen, thanks for the memories: we had two huge huge apricot trees in the backyard of my childhood home–enough for us and the entire neighborhood–I can, right now, see my Mother washing them, cutting them up and cooking over her stove, to be canned (in jars with wax over the top) for the long (albeit mild and mellow) SoCal winter–oh yes, and always, with fresh lemon juice from just picked lemons from our own trees. Cheers to you and Dan!

  3. sue/the view from great island on August 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    This apricot sherbet is definitely a bright ray of sunshine! I have to say I would LOVE a bit of rain, it’s dry as a bone here in sunny CA 🙂

  4. Katie Dyos on August 23, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Your writing photography and recipes are once again inspiring me. You are so incredibly talented! I can’t wait until the book comes out.

    • Maureen Abood on August 26, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Thank you Katie!!

  5. Manal on August 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    This ice cream looks so good! I would have never thought that it can be easily made at home! Thanks for sharing it!

  6. Faez on July 28, 2020 at 2:50 AM

    Hi Maureen your recipes are amazing.
    Fresh Apricots are qUite expensive here. Am i able to replace it with canned apricot. If so how much should I use.

    • Maureen Abood on July 28, 2020 at 8:26 AM

      Hi Faez–canned apricots should work fine, but the flavor won’t be quite as fabulous as fresh. Use the same amount. If the canned apricots are halved, then you’ll need double the count listed in the recipe, which calls for whole apricots. Cut them into wedges as described.

  7. RCLARK on July 23, 2021 at 12:11 PM

    I love apricots & apricot sherbet but I have rarely found ones with any flavor whatsoever. When you sniff them they smell like nothing and of course taste like nothing. Don’t know if that’s b/c they ship the crummy ones to Texas or what. If I find some good ones I’ll def. use your recipe.

    • Maureen Abood on July 26, 2021 at 8:52 AM

      Hi! I find that less flavorful apricots (and fruit in general) is able to take on great flavor in recipes like this, because of the lemon and sugar. You might try it even with sub-par flavored apricots!

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Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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