The Neverending Sherbet



Tükenmez is a sustainable home version of the kind of sherbet you used to buy in the street from hawkers with tanks on their backs—still seen occasionally in some parts of eastern Turkey. The street sherbets were often made with tamarind or liquorice root, while the home version uses medlars. As you’ll see in the ingredients list, I’ve suggested a variety of fruits that will contribute interesting notes to the taste, but you can keep adding cores and skins of any hard fruits that take your fancy. To get fermentation started, you need to keep the chickpeas in the water for at least five days. The liquid will continue to ferment gently once the chickpeas are removed, and you can keep refreshing the drink with water for three months. If it starts to taste like vinegar, use it as vinegar and make another batch.


  • 1 red apple
  • 1 granny smith (or sour green) apple
  • 1 quince (or nashi pear)
  • 1 pear
  • 100 g ( oz) green grapes
  • 200 g (7 oz) medlars (or loquats or firm red plums)
  • 50 g ( oz) dried or frozen sour cherries (or red grapes)
  • 220 g ( oz/1 cup) sugar
  • 5 chickpeas


Quarter the apples, quince and pear without removing the seeds. Remove the stalks from the grapes. Mix all the fruits, including the medlars and sour cherries together in a bowl.

Put the mixed fruit into a 2 litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) jug (pitcher) with a sealing lid and then add the sugar. Wrap the chickpeas in muslin (cheesecloth) and add to the jug. Fill the jug with 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) of water, up to the brim. Seal tightly and then store in a cool spot for 10 days before serving.