Dad's Pineapple Sherbet

As a child, my home was on the St. Clair River in a little town in Michigan called Algonac; the river is important because it connects the Great Lakes and
vessels can travel between the upper and lower Great Lakes. As a result,  freighters were a common sight tooling right by in front of our house. It was quite amazing actually (which I've come to realize since returning as an adult), because the river is extremely narrow in many places and these freighters are enormous. The river is also the international boundary between the Canadian province of Ontario and Michigan.

My dad, who was not exactly comfortable in the kitchen, made two things of note: caramel popcorn and pineapple sherbet. And we made the sherbet in winter as ice was readily available. The river often froze over.....I remember skating on it as a child....which, needless to say, caused huge problems for shipping. A hefty current, busy freighter traffic and Coast Guard cutters help to keep the ice moving, but there are times when there are still ice jams. Once 18 freighters in a line got jammed up in the ice.

At any rate, Dad would go down to the shore and get ice for our ice cream maker. One of those old hand churning wooden ones. We'd set things up in the basement where there was drain in the floor because ice with lots of salt sprinkled on each layer led to water seeping out of the holes in the sides. Then we'd all take turns churning.
It was a wonder there was ever much ice cream left as Dad would open the top to see if the ice cream was done, and we'd all dip our spoons in. The tasting became more fun than eating the finished ice cream. We loved Dad's pineapple sherbet. 
My children had his caramel popcorn often enough, but by the time they were old enough to enjoy churning ice cream, my parents had moved to Florida and the old churn was left behind.

Now that summer is upon us, and even though our rivers and lakes aren't frozen :), I thought you might like to try my dad's recipe. Would you believe this is the first time I've ever made it in over 40 years? Things are so much simpler now; I almost feel as though I'm cheating.

    Dad, Mackinac Island, 1960

Dad's Pineapple Sherbet

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained
2 lemons, juice only

In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat the 1/2 and 1/2; do not allow to boil. Beat  the eggs and sugar. Temper the eggs and then pour everything back, and cook, whisking, until the mixture thickens a bit or  until a thermometer reads 160° and the mixture coats a spoon.  Once again, do not allow to boil. Strain. Cool. 
Add the whipping cream, lemon juice and pineapple. Chill overnight. Churn away!

It freezes hard, so you'll have to let it soften a bit to scoop. I topped it with some fresh pineapple caramelized in butter, dark brown sugar and dark rum, so the warmth melted the sherbet a bit.


  1. What a lovely glimpse into your childhood and the man who was your father. Both of his "specialties" sound right up my alley!

  2. A lovely ode to your father! He looked very kind.

    That sherbet is heavenly! Just irresistible.



  3. A lovely looking gentleman:) How sweet of you!

  4. What a handsome man! Thank you for sharing this story!

  5. Your dad looks might gorgeous Barbara!

  6. What a wonderful way to recapture old memories.

  7. There is no better way to honor someone you love than preparing a favorite food that evokes fond memories.



  8. Barbara heyy what nice picture. He look really awesome, nice!
    And the sorbet look.awesome!!
    Nice post!

  9. The sherbet looks delicious. I really enjoyed your childhood story of Michigan and couldn't help but notice how charming your father looked in 1960.

  10. What a lovely tribute to your dad's recipe! A superb dessert, I agree! :)
    MMMMMMM,...Yourdad looks cute!

  11. That looks wonderful.

    May I add that I found out the hard way that fresh uncooked pineapple with milk products can be unpleasant.... if you use fresh you need to cook it to get rid of an enzyme in the pineapple.

    I can't wait to try this... perfect for summer Barbara, and I love that picture of your dad and the making of the ice cream story. It looks like it was a great place to grow up.

  12. A lovely post for your daddy my friend, how gorgeous and delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. What a lovely remembrance, Barbara. The ice cream sounds delicious, as do all foods we season with love and precious memories. I spent several summers as a child on Mackinac Island. Loved it. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  14. It is amazing how food is connected either with people or memories or both! The serbet looks very tasty and the memories are adorable!

  15. Love how you shared a little bit of your dad with us today! And I love pineapple, so this is definitely a "must try."

  16. Your dad was very handsome! Love the picture of him by the water. And the sherbet sounds might fine too.

  17. What a great photo of your dad. Love the sail boat in the background. Several
    of our friends at our condo in Florida are from Michigan and a couple still have homes on the St. Clair River.

    Pineapple sherbet was my favorite when I was a girl and I haven't eaten it in years. Happy memories.

  18. What a handsome guy!

    I'd never even heard of pineapple sherbet til now. I'm a huge fan of the orange version though, so I must try this!

  19. i love this story about your sweet and handsome father.. the pineapple sherbet looks and sounds delicious!

    wishing you a lovely weekend xx

  20. i don't think i've seen a finer use for crushed pineapple--nice recipe and sweet post!

  21. What a sweet post...both literally and figuratively! This sherbet looks amazing!

  22. A lovely homage to your father.

    I always enjoy reading about your childhood in Michigan; having grown up in southwestern Ontario, I feel like you and I were practically neighbors! (My dad always liked to listen to WJR from Detroit.)

  23. What a great memory of sherbet making! I have some similar memories of my Dad making homemade ice cream in a churn-style maker with ice and salt. For us, it was always made in the summer, outside, on the patio. Pineapple sherbet sounds delicious for any time of year!

  24. Great post Barbara. We had one of those old hand crank ice cream makers. This sherbet sounds wonderful. Got to give it a try.



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