Chef Gisele Perez Brings Home the Sweet Summer Taste of New Orleans

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New Orleans native and Los Angeles caterer shares her memories of summer in the Big Easy with a favorite childhood dessert that will cool you off on a hot day.

Aunt Leticia's Pineapple Sherbet

My favorite summer treat was my Aunt Leticia’s homemade pineapple sherbet. We would sit outside under a shady tree and eat this delicious dessert and feel the heat melt away.

Summer time anywhere in America evokes memories of long, hot days, sitting in the shade on a porch or under a large tree eating something cold and sweet. For Chef Gisele Perez, summertime brings back fond memories of time spent in New Orleans.

“Summers in New Orleans were steamy enough to immediately fog up my glasses when I stepped outside the air conditioned house, but there were plenty of treats to keep us cool,” Gisele explains. “Sodas were delivered by the crate load to Aunt Leticia’s house. There was also a neighborhood specialty called “huckabucks,” a fruity punch mixture frozen into paper cups, sold by one of the neighbors, and the ubiquitous New Orleans specialty, snow balls, paper cones filled with shaved ice and topped with sticky sweet syrups. But my favorite summer treat was my Aunt Leticia’s homemade pineapple sherbet. We would sit outside under a shady tree and eat this delicious dessert and feel the heat melt away.”

Sweet like a New Orleans summer this porch front favorite is a classic that will help you keep the heat at bay.

Aunt Leticia’s Pineapple Sherbet
Serves 6


  •     3½ cups crushed canned pineapple packed in juice with the juice
  •     5 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  •     1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste
  •     2 egg whites
  •     1 pinch salt

Combine pineapple, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt.

Take the chilled mixture from the refrigerator and fold in the beaten egg whites in 3 additions.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to your machine’s directions. The sherbet will be soft. It may be served as is, or placed in a freezer to freeze harder.

Scoop into sherbet or ice cream bowl, garnish with mint (optional) and can serve with a small cookie or wafer.

Recipe may be reprinted with the following credit:
Copyright Gisele Perez –

About Chef Gisele Perez

A recognized food blogger and columnist, New Orleans native Gisele Perez, is an established chef in Los Angeles, California, with her company, Small Pleasures Catering. Immigrating to Los Angeles from New Orleans as a child, Gisele grew up traveling back and forth between the two cities, which instilled in her a love for New Orleans that has become an integral part of her life and career. A graduate with honors from the renowned California Culinary Academy, Gisele worked in some of the finest hotels, restaurants and catering companies in New York and San Francisco before returning to Los Angeles and starting her catering company in 1997. While some of her catering specialties may not be New Orleans-specific, everything she cooks, every buffet decorated, is influenced by it. When Gisele is in her kitchen she is constantly reminded of her grandmother, at whose knee she stood as a young child, questioning her as she cooked for her large family. Gisele has been featured in numerous regional publications and on local television.

To learn more about Gisele, visit her blog site,, and her company website,

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