Cranberry Sorbet

This cranberry sorbet is tart, tangy, and refreshing so it’s perfect after a rich holiday dinner. Just enough sugar to sate your sweet tooth while keeping things light and fresh.

A few dollops of cranberry sorbet in a white porcelain bowl.

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.

☞ Contents

Cranberry Sorbet

A few dollops of cranberry sorbet in a white porcelain bowl.
Cranberry sorbet combines the refreshing flavor of cranberries with the sweet creaminess of sorbet. Light enough to still be satisfying after a rich meal, it also looks stunning.

Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 45 mins
6 to 8 servings
232 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the Falling Cloudberries cookbook

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  • 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.
Print RecipeBuy the Falling Cloudberries cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 232kcal (12%)Carbohydrates: 60g (20%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 72mg (2%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 53g (59%)Vitamin A: 50IU (1%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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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


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  1. 5 stars
    Sgroppino, here I come! 😉 Wouldn’t this make a lovely pink drink? Not that it wouldn’t taste super by itself, but day after Christmas brunch anyone?

  2. This is basically the cranberry sherbet that I have eaten with turkey dinner all my life. The difference is that my mother’s recipe adds the juice of three lemons and a half teaspoon of softened gelatin. Before there were ice cream machines, we beat it with a fork after it was gelid.

      1. Yep. We also stuffed the turkey with what my grandmother called “Portygee” stuffing, and I have never found anyone else who had the recipe. It was very different, but delicious (and also apt to ferment in the intestines, causing bloating.)

          1. Does yours call for grinding hard-boiled eggs, onion, the giblets, adding an equal volume of ground dry bread and pulled day-old, then mixing together with allspice, cloves, melted butter, a bit of vinegar, and of course, salt and pepper?

          2. Wow, no, that’s very different than ours: Our contains dried bread, chouriço, onions, garlic, massa de pimenta, paprika, and a bunch of other spices.

  3. Why is superfine sugar needed if you cook the sugar and fruit? Doesn’t the application of heat to H20, fruit and sugar result transform the sugar to a liquid state?

    I am also curious as to why the egg white must be frozen and not straight from the refrigerator in the mousse version.

    Looking forward to trying this recipe.

    1. Good questions, Deanna. You’re correct, the sugar will dissolve quite readily in the water and fruit mixture when subjected to heat. We left it as superfine because changing it would affect the measure of sugar (more superfine sugar will fit in a measuring cup than granulated sugar) although you could certainly play around with it, tasting as you go. And let’s let Foodessa respond regarding the frozen egg white. (I have a hunch it has to do with consistency, but I’m curious to hear what she says…)

  4. Although, I admit to not thinking of the cranberry as my top 5 choices of fruit flavoured sorbets…the color alone certainly screams for attention.

    If I may suggest adding a frozen egg white to the food processor mix when whipping it into a mousse. I also would skip the cooking part of the cranberries. Use the berries in their frozen state along with some fruit sugar (fructose sugar) which is superfine and a little sweeter too. I do this for all my sorbets and the results are quite impressive. First we serve the mix as a cold luscious mousse and freeze the rest for it to turn into a sorbet state. If anyone trys this method or you have questions…don’t hesitate to ask me ;o) It’s been nice passing by.

    Flavourful wishes,


  5. I made this recipe last year using Alaska’s lowbush cranberries, which are also know as lingonberries in Scandinavian countries. It was amazing, and the color was beautiful. I also made a few other recipes from the book including the meatball which were very good as well. I was disappointed to find that there actually were not any cloudberry recipes though.

    1. We heard from Tessa Kiros, the author of Falling Cloudberries, the cookbook in which this recipe appeared. She was kind enough to explain that she didn’t include anything with cloudberries because she knows how hard it is to find them and was worried there may be complaints about using ingredients that are impossible to get. (For those unfamiliar with cloudberries, they’re a golden-colored, slow-ripening, quite lovely-tasting berry common to very northern climes. A raspberry or blackberry can only approximate its flavor.) She went on to say “If I ever get the chance to do a ‘northern’ cookbook again, I will most certainly include a recipe with cloudberries. I love them even for the name. Sounds magical. Heavenly.”

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