Thursday, December 30

Cranberry sorbet

I made this cranberry sorbet as part of my annual ice cream birthday party.  I've done it for a few years now and I always like to use different recipes for the social.  After I had all my ice cream recipes gathered (oreo cheesecake, lemon curd, Irish Car Bomb with Guinness ice cream and a Bailey's Irish Creme swirl, honey vanilla coconut, basil, dulce de leche, and sweet cream), I realized that all the flavors were heavy and cream-based and there wasn't anything light and fruity.  After a quick search, I settled on the season-appropriate cranberry sorbet

I've made sorbet before and it froze rock-hard, even with alcohol. For this cranberry sorbet, I waited to churn it until shortly before the party.  I needn't have worried, though. I've had it in my freezer for 2 weeks now, there is nary an icy chunk to be found, and it's still as good as when I first made it. We can thank the Grand Marnier for that; there's just enough to keep it soft and enhance, without overwhelming, the cranberry.

This sorbet exceeded my expectations! It was tart and sweet and it was fairly creamy (as far as sorbets go). One of my guests had the brilliant idea of pairing it with the lemon curd ice cream and it was super yummy!

Cranberry season may be winding down, but there is still plenty of time to make this sorbet, so hop to it!

Cranberry Sorbet
Barely adapted from UseRealButter who, in turn, adapted it from David Lebovitz.

The liqueur is optional, but highly recommended.  The flavors really work together but, more importantly, it keeps the sorbet scoopable directly from the freezer.  If you nix the liqueur, you'll need to let the sorbet stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before scooping.  Also, if you don't have any Grand Marnier, I bet you could substitute vodka, but go easy on it. 

Makes about 1 quart.


  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons Grand Marnier (optional)


Heat cranberries, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan until liquid begins to boil. Let boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and cover. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Purée the cranberries and their liquid in a blender or food processor then press through a sieve to remove the cranberry skins and seeds. (conversely, you could use a food mill fitted with a fine disk). Stir in the juice and the liqueur. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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