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love it

Recipe: cranberry sorbet

damn straight i did!

Have you ever begun a recipe with moderate to low expectations only to be completely dazzled by the result? One night while I was falling asleep, an idea popped into my brain and I said aloud, “cranberry sorbet” to no one in particular. I have about a 70% chance of remembering my thoughts the following morning.


I referred to my trusted copy of The Perfect Scoop and sure enough, Mr. Lebovitz had a cranberry-orange sorbet recipe. While I like orange, I don’t like it in everything. There are times when orange and I need a break from one another. So I substituted the orange juice with cranberry-raspberry juice and omitted the zest.

steeping the cranberries

Something I love about cranberries is hearing them pop when you boil them. *pop* *pop* *pop* When making this recipe, I highly recommend not wearing anything white, or at least not wearing anything that you want to keep clean… or maybe I’m just a slob? The best part of the entire process was getting to use my wonderful, lovely, totally awesome food mill (thanks, Perez!). If you have ever pressed a berry purée through a sieve, that is one time too many. Get ye a food mill! Cleanup is 100 times easier, the food mill is more versatile, it is less messy than a sieve, the yield is much higher, and my cussing decreases substantially.

pass through the lovely food mill

While I was tempted to go pure cranberry juice, I decided on the cranberry-raspberry juice blend instead. Nothing special, just juice from frozen concentrate. It’s slightly less bitter than all cranberry.

pour the juice

The only goof I made (and some might not consider it as such) was adding two tablespoons of Grand Marnier instead of 2 teaspoons. I’m such a booze hound, ya know…

add grand marnier

When the sorbet came out of the ice cream machine, it was pretty smooth for homemade sorbet. But when I tasted it – WOW! I like cranberry, but I *love* this cranberry sorbet. Even Jeremy, who is lukewarm to cranberries, was loving this sorbet. That’s a huge victory for me because I can’t do dairy (and my ass thanks my GI tract for its intolerance of ice cream), but I love me a fruity sorbet. I have a new favorite in my freezer.

fall and summer in a cranberry sorbet

Cranberry Sorbet
[print recipe]
adapted from Cranberry-Orange Sorbet in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

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

Heat cranberries, water, and sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan until liquid begins to boil. Let boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 30 minutes. Pass the cranberries and their liquid through a food mill fitted with a fine disk, or purée them in a blender or food procesor and then press through a sieve to remove any large bits of cranberry skin. 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. Makes about 1 quart.

34 nibbles at “love it”

  1. Rosa says:

    Oh, that’s a great idea! It looks wonderful! I have a bag of fresh cranberries and since my boyfriend loves sorbet, I think that I’ll have to give that recipe a try…



  2. Mrs Ergül says:

    Wow! A food mill and a new favourite all in 1 post! I had been wondering when are you gonna flaunt your food mill present and it has finally surfaced! I have never really seen or used one, this sure looks like an ass-kicking equipment!

    And the sorbet looks so ‘upbeat’. Don’t know why but I just feel so, I think it is the colour! I’m talking too much. xxoo

  3. Manisha says:

    Yes! Something else to make with my humongo bag of cranberries. What if I used pomegranate juice instead of cranberry-raspberry juice?

    And, I giggled when I read that I would have to make this sorbet while “not wearing anything” – might bring back some of the fire of the days gone by, I thought. Until I read the rest of the sentence. Still. Worth a try methinks :-D

  4. Kitt says:

    It’s too cold to be not wearing anything!

    For me, it’s too cold for sorbet, too, but I’ll hold that thought for when things warm up again.

    I keep putting my food mill in the Goodwill box and taking it out again. Maybe there’s some trick to using it that I haven’t mastered.

  5. Manggy says:

    Aaahrr! And I walked right past the food mills at Surfas! To be fair, I think there are a fair few models being sold here. But still. I had to think of what to use them for– I don’t do a lot of pureeing. I don’t usually detect the bitter taste of cranberries (and I am very sensitive to bitterness, I think, which is why I can’t take coffee plain), but raspberries sound like a better partner than oranges for me :) I think the extra Grand Marnier actually benefited the sorbet in terms of smoothness. Love it!

  6. peabody says:

    Oh, I can’t have dairy right now either, but want ice cream. Perhaps I should be making this sorbet. Though I haven’t seen fresh cranberries yet.

  7. Maja says:

    You can not get fresh cranberries where i live (you can get cranberry jam and dry cranberries), so i just read 4 pages of conversation about where to get them … when i do get my hands on a bag of frozen ones, i’m so making this! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  8. Steph says:

    Hooray for extra alcohol in the sorbet! Extra alcohol = extra smoothness? Hell, I’ll toast to that. Here’s hoping that everyone that voted to give more money to students gets a dessert as beautiful as this :)

    It’s still warm enough to eat sorbet while not wearing anything here, but I’m okay with that, as it means that I might get to take the little surfboard out for a few autumn runs. It WOULD be fun to wear a white shirt while making this just for the benefit of walking outside afterward and making the frat-boy neighbors think something horrible just occurred.

  9. Celeste says:

    Your pictures are amazing!
    I had to chuckle about your idea “popping” into your head and the thought perhaps not reaching the morning.
    This happens to me so often I now keep pen & paper next to my bed.

  10. Anh says:

    WOW, the color of that sobert is amazing! I cant get cranberry here but well, I can always adore your creation!

  11. Kelley says:

    That photo of the berries in sugar is gorgeous. It looks like it could be snow, which makes me think of “Cherries in the Snow”, the classic Revlon lipstick/nail polish color that was so fun to play dress-up with. You make me want a food mill! Sorbet sounds great and it’s going on the list.

  12. Bria says:

    Yum! Looks delicious. I really need to get me a food mill….

  13. Sindy says:

    I can’t wait to try this. It looks so beautiful! I finally broke down and bought and Ice cream maker a couple of months ago because I kept seeing recipes I wanted to try and haven’t really seen any since. We should start seeing cranberries here any day. (and this year I SWEAR I am going to freeze some)

  14. Amy says:

    hee hee…I made DL’s raspberry ice cream this past year and wasted precious hours (ok, maybe not that long, but it sure seemed like hours) of my life pressing raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve. Never again, I say! I must get me a food mill.

    As soon as I start seeing cranberries here I’m going to snatch some and make this sorbet. Yummy yummy!

  15. Tartelette says:

    I think this would last about 2 seconds around here…I can’t stay “respectable” in front of sorbet!! Gorgeous colors!

  16. Fiona says:

    Looks wonderful, and so pretty. I bet I could use this for a modified Thanksgiving dessert.

    I’m glad to hear that you like your food mill. I’ve been thinking of getting one to make baby food (I have a mini-prep but that’s just a blender, it doesn’t strain), and you’re quite right about straining seeds. Last summer I made wild blackberry sorbet and the straining was not the best part. Of course, my sieve would be rejected by the Smithsonian as too old, but still.

    The reds in your photos came out beautifully.

  17. Margie says:

    OMG! I’m not sure what makes me happier, the cranberries or the Grand Marnier, but together this is sure to be a winning combo. This dessert makes such a pretty statement. I can see this at Christmas with a sprig of mint on the side, Voila! Or,maybe a bite of bittersweet chocolate. Or served up with those candied orange slices you made earlier in the year. Possibilities are endless. This sure is a pretty, pretty dish and one for my recipe book. :) Muchas gracias, amiga!

  18. Bridget says:

    Mm, yum. The photo of cranberries and sugar is very wintery.

  19. Meera says:

    That picture looks awesome.

  20. Lynn says:

    Gorgeous sorbet! Good call on substituting for the orange. Thanks for the tip on the food mill. I recently made blackberry sorbet and definitely could have used one.

  21. ThistleDew Farm says:

    I love Cranberries and I love your site – always a joy. I selected you for an Excellence Award as the Inspired Writer Blog – the first time I read your blog I was so inspired by your story it compelled me to read all about you. You have the most beautiful pictures to go with your stories! Great Job!

  22. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Not only the color is absolutely vibrant and pretty, Jen, but no one can go wrong with berries and booze. ;)

  23. Nate says:

    Very nice. I wonder if you could do a sorbet using Triple Sec, Cranberry and Tequila.


  24. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for the sorbet Idea. And I remembered my dream vividly upon waking this morning. Pure prophecy, I tell you. I am writing it down. It kind of scared the s*%t out of me, it was so real.

  25. Kathy says:

    I love your post! You have a great sense of humor with your words.

  26. Leonor de Sousa Bastos says:

    This sorbet looks absolutely delicious!!
    What a great idea…

    I love raspberries and will try it soon!

  27. Betts says:

    I can’t believe your dog can chew through a black Kong. Those are jaws of steel.

    You sugared cranberry photo would make a beautiful Christmas card. The sorbet looks delish.

  28. Mollie says:

    Gah that looks awesome! I love the tartness of cranberries. Yum! I haven’t made ice cream or anything of that ilk since our family picnic days back in the early 80’s with that hand crank thing in the wooden bucket. And making your own ice cream and sorbet is so “now” – I must get with the times. This looks so great. I didn’t know you couldn’t do dairy. I’m not sure I could go on without dairy… I also need a food mill.

    Random blatherings, brought to you by the letter K and the number 13.

  29. jenyu says:

    Rosa – oooh, I hope you both like it!

    Mrs. E – it’s a lovely piece of equipment AND it is easy to clean. I love it. The color of the sorbet is amazing.

    Manisha – I’m sure pomegranate juice would add a wonderful bite to it. ha ha, I’ll leave that for you and Mr. IFR to figure out ;)

    Kitt – it’s never too cold for me to eat sorbet :) It’s one of my favorite treats! You can’t abandon the food mill until you try this recipe!

    Mark – I didn’t think I would use a food mill much either, but it is super handy and since I have it, I don’t shy away from these sorts of recipes anymore!

    Peabody – I can’t believe you guys don’t have fresh crans yet!?!

    Maja – the frozen ones work just as well :)

    Steph – I think extra booze does make it smoother. It seems if I wear dark clothes, I never splash anything – only when I’m wearing something light colored :(

    Celeste – thanks! Good thought, I will have to keep a notepad handy!

    Anh – awww, you’re so sweet!

    Kelley – food mills are so awesome. I highly recommend them.

    Bria – hee hee.

    Sindy – yipee! I don’t eat much ice cream, but I loooove to make it. So much fun and totally different when homemade.

    Amy – I had that experience a few time too many :) I think my sieve is permanently encrusted with berry guts too!

    Tartelette – ha ha! the image of you not being “respectable” with sorbet is sooo hilarious.

    Fiona – yes, I think the advantages of food mill over food processor+sieve are 1) cleanup 2) ease of use 3) less cussing.

    Margie – I think it is quite timely for the coming holidays.

    Bridget – I like that holiday-ey look to it too ;)

    Meera – thanks!

    Lynn – yup, I made blackberry ice cream pre-food mill days and what a mess!

    ThistleDew Farm – thanks sweetheart. That is so nice of you.

    Patricia – good motto!

    Nate – probably! I’m sure you could turn most sorbets into cocktail sorbets :) yip!!

    Cynthia – I never remember dreams unless I wake in the middle of them.

    Kathy – thank you :)

    Leonor – thanks!

    Betts – ha ha, she is insane, you know. thanks!

    Mollie – We used the hand crank deals in elementary school – kinda fun. But I like my current ice cream machine – so much easier. And the food mill ROCKS. Go get one! Go, now! go! You still here? ;) xxoo

  30. Kate says:

    Just made this last night for my official first dinner in a new apartment and it was FANTASTIC! Such a great find. I swear, God as my witness, I will never buy ice cream again!

  31. jenyu says:

    Kate – w00t!

  32. CraziBeautiful Julie~jann says:


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  34. rhettafetachedda says:

    so i was searching around for ideas on these gorgeous cranberries i got a uber deal on around thanksgiving……..and poof……… we are……..lovely…………and lil tip if ya didnt know…….frozen cranberries are better to use in anything where you want the juice…….the ice crystals rip up the flesh of the berries and make them when heated produce more juice……………..hehehe……………btw…….i mixed up the recipie a bit and did 1/2 cup of orange juice and mixed it with water for the juice…….and the orange zest…….and……….wow………..ty for the inspiration again…..this one’s goin in the book

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