Sometimes I struggle with the proportions of sorbet ingredients to be able to achieve a smooth, almost creamy texture rather than a block of ice. I made a yummy cantaloupe sorbet this summer that was great fresh out of the ice cream maker but froze to a poor consistency. I think it’s partly in the body of the pulp, partly in whether the ice cream maker will humor me long enough to aerate the mix, and partly in those little “trucs,” such as adding (dreaded) corn syrup or a little alcohol.
Having to retreat from a certain mulled apple cider sorbet the other day, I decided to go for broke with the cranberries. They have a lot of pectin, I think, based on their gelling capacity when I make Thanksgiving relish, so that already bodes well for consistency. I also didn’t feel that I needed to process a whole quart of the sorbet mixture. To get to a quart, I would have added liquid and that would aggravate the ice factor. This turned out perfectly. Because of the concentration of berries, you can eat only a tiny amount at a time. We could have used this as an intermezzo at our abundant Thanksgiving feast, if anyone does that anymore. It cleanses the palate at any time.
12 oz cranberries, picked over, stems removed and rinsed
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup additional liquid (water, orange juice, cranberry juice)
1 tbsp light corn syrup
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
Mix the cranberries, sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until cranberries have popped. Add additional liquid and corn syrup and let cool. When cool, add orange zest and liqueur and chill in refrigerator until very cold. Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes a pint and a half.