You don’t need an ice cream maker, you need Guava Cream Cheese Sherbet

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Bowl of Guava Cream Cheese Sherbet on tabletop illustrated with guava halves
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Allison Corr

I refuse to buy an ice cream maker. It’s an appliance that gets you excited enough to buy it, then fills your head with unrealistic expectations. Will I make a ton of ice cream the first week I get it? Of course I will! But then, as I work my way through a freezer of too much ice cream, the novelty will wear off. My appreciation for my own handiwork will wane as I begin to miss the pints made by masters of the craft, like The Charmery or Ben & Jerry. (When your body demands Chubby Hubby, nothing else will do.) Within weeks, my infatuation will be dead and gone, but I’ll continue to make ice cream so I don’t have to hear my husband say “I told you so.” I’ll begin to resent the ice cream maker. I’ll hate hate the way it looks at me every time I walk into the kitchen. I won’t forgive it for introducing me to the concept of “too much ice cream.” I will banish it to a closet.

No, I will not permit any appliance to infect my relationship with ice cream. I love ice cream, ice cream loves me, and that’s the way things shall be forevermore. But what am I to do the one or two times a year that I actually want to make homemade ice cream, or some other similarly spectacular frozen dessert, but don’t want to settle for one of those no-churn recipes that are little more than frozen whipped cream? The solution is to make an ultra-creamy sherbet—the halfway point between ice cream and sorbet—which I can make with an electric mixer.

Most of the sherbet we know and love is made mostly from juice with a small amount of dairy, but my sherbet treats juice and dairy as near equals. Cream cheese gives the sherbet rich, luscious body by adding both butterfat and stabilizers—the not-so-secret ingredient behind much of ice cream’s magic— and few things taste better with it than glorious guava. All you need to do is blend, beat, fold, and freeze. You can even use a hand mixer if you don’t own one of those sturdy standing models.


After you’re done polishing off two quarts of guava sherbet, try swapping the nectar for other juices, like peach, pineapple, or mango. This sherbet recipe will make you realize you can live a perfectly fulfilling frozen dessert life without an ice cream machine mocking you from the closet.

Guava Cream Cheese Sherbet

Makes approximately 2 quarts sherbet

  • 2 cups guava nectar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: Guava paste and powdered sugar

Use a blender to combine the guava nectar, cream cheese, corn syrup, and salt until smooth. (I like doing this with an immersion blender in a plastic quart container.) Pour the puree into an airtight container, place in the coldest part of your freezer, and chill until the mixture reaches 35 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. The exact amount of time this takes will depend on your freezer; begin regularly checking its temperature after one hour.


When the sherbet base is cold, pour the heavy cream into a metal mixing bowl and stick it in the freezer for about 5 minutes until the bowl is cold to the touch. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream into stiff peaks, then pour in the guava mixture and continue whipping for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes thick enough to hold its shape, just like soft-serve ice cream. (See optional note below.) Pour the sherbet into a freezer-friendly container, press a piece of wax or parchment paper directly onto the surface, cover with a tight lid and freeze for at least six hours before serving.


If you’d like bits of guava paste in your sherbet (I highly recommend this!), put about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl and dust a few tablespoons onto an easily washable cutting board. (Some brands of guava paste can be rather sticky.) Use a sharp knife to cut as much guava paste as you’d like into roughly 1/2" cubes. As you cut, add the pieces to the bowl of powdered sugar and gently toss to coat, adding more sugar if necessary. (I add about 3/4 cup of chopped guava paste to my sherbet.) After you’ve whipped your sherbet to rich, glorious peaks, shake any extra sugar off the guava pieces and gently fold them into the sherbet in small batches. Pack it into a container, freeze, and try to contain your excitement for at least six hours.