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Heavy Yom Tov meals call for light, cool desserts. Sorbet is perfect because it uses minimal ingredients and can be made in many flavors.

Sorbets are a simple combination of fresh fruit or fruit juice with sugar. Approximately two pounds of fruit will yield a quart of sorbet. That is about five cups of chopped fruit. A little more or less is fine; this is a basic formula and can be adjusted as needed. Puree this fruit and add a little sugar, and that’s your sorbet base.

The easiest way to add sugar is to make simple sugar syrup. Simmer equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved, and let it cool. Some fruits are sweet enough on their own, so that they barely need added sugar. But remember, freezing dulls sweet flavors, so we want the basic recipe to be a little too sweet before freezing.

Pear Sorbet

8 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Peel, core and cut pears for the sorbet into chunks. Place in a medium stockpot and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add ginger and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add sugar and water and cook until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let pears cool. Place only pears in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree until smooth. Discard liquid. Transfer to a bowl and freeze 1 hour.
Remove from freezer and re-blend puree, either in a mixer or food processor. Freeze until serving.

Watermelon Lime Sorbet

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

5 cups seedless watermelon cubes

2 tablespoons freshly

squeezed orange juice

lime slices

small watermelon wedges

Combine wine, sugar and lime juice in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer gently 3 minutes. Cool completely. Puree cubed watermelon in processor. Strain puree through sieve set over large bowl, pressing on solids with a spatula. Discard solids in sieve. Stir wine mixture and orange juice concentrate into watermelon puree.
Pour melon mixture into 8 x 8 x 2-inch dish or container. Freeze until semi-firm, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Cover; freeze overnight.

Chill food processor work bowl and metal blade in freezer for 30 minutes. Transfer melon mixture to processor. Using the pulse button, process until very smooth. Freeze 6 small bowls 30 minutes. Scoop sorbet into frozen bowls. Garnish with lime slices and watermelon wedges. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Sorbet

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

1/2 cup cocoa

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate and cocoa. Whisk mixture until chocolate has melted and cocoa has dissolved.
Prepare a large pan or bowl filled with ice water (water and ice cubes). Return saucepan to heat and bring to a boil again. As bubbles break across the surface, remove from heat. Place pan in ice water to cool for 10 minutes. Pour sorbet into a shallow, airtight container and freeze for 3 hours.
Remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature; transfer to your mixer or food processor bowl. Beat for 1-2 minutes, breaking up ice crystals. Return to freezer for 3 hours. Repeat beating and freezing twice more until sorbet is smooth and light.

Mango Sorbet

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

4 ripe mangoes (about 3 1/2 pounds total)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring water and sugar to a boil and continue boiling until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Using a serrated peeler, remove as much skin as possible from each mango. With a knife, remove flesh from pit and place into a food processor. Add simple syrup and lemon juice to processor and purée until smooth.

Freeze mango purée in an ice-cream maker or any shallow container. If you are not using an ice cream maker, follow steps above in the recipe for chocolate sorbet regarding freezing and blending to create a light texture.