This stunning cranberry sorbet is refreshing, slightly tart, and such an inspiring color. Sometimes I like to serve it with a shot of vodka or a gentle blob of whipped cream alongside. You could also add a little liqueur to the sorbet if you like. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work too well without an ice-cream machine—you can beat it by hand, but you will end up with a sort of granita instead of a sorbet.–Tessa Kiros
LC Some Like it Tart Note
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is cranberry sorbet. As such, it’s bracing and bold and vivacious in that way only cranberries can be. Sure, it contains sugar, but not so much as to overwhelm the traits that make cranberries, well, cranberries. It’s more a pleasantly tart palate perker-upper than an overly saccharin dessert and just as worthy of a table laden with hearty holiday fare. And we’d want it no other way.
- Ice cream machine
- 5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries rinsed
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery) depending on how sweet you prefer
- 3 1/2 cups cold water
- Place the berries in a saucepan with the sugar and water, cover, and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries are softened, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the heat and your berries.
- Purée the cranberry mixture in a food processor or blender. Strain the mixture, discarding the solids. Let cool to room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate the cranberry mixture until chilled through, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Transfer to an ice-cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately or transfer to a resealable container and freeze for as long as you can resist temptation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is easy to make. It took about 15 minutes to cook the fruit, water, and sugar, and I used an immersion blender to purée the fruit after cooking. After straining, I chilled the liquid for about four hours, although overnight is probably ideal. I also added one tablespoon of Cointreau. Overall, the sorbet had a great cranberry flavor that wasn’t too sweet. The Cointreau was not as pronounced as I’d have liked, but I’ll adjust that measurement for next time.
Those who love tart cranberries will enjoy this sorbet more than those who don’t—some of my tasters said it was bitter, but my sister loved it. This was an easy recipe with just two ingredients—three, if you count water. It took 30 minutes on medium heat for the berries to soften. When finished, the sorbet was tart and refreshing, with a beautiful color. This would be a great dessert after traditional large Thanksgiving or Christmas meals.
It doesn’t get any simpler than this—just fruit and sugar. This also means that nothing really masks the cranberry taste, so it’s for those who love it—and I do. I did add a little liquor—2 tablespoons of vodka—to the mix, as the recipe note suggests, to help ensure a final product that’s not too hard, and can be scooped smoothly. It’s tart and refreshing, and best served in conservative portions with a dollop of whipped cream or with small spice cookies.
Originally published November 22, 2010