While cranberries are in season right now, you should take advantage of it by making cranberry sorbet. You don’t need to have an ice cream machine, just a good ol’ freezer will do and a little time to freeze. It’s a very nice and light dessert when you want something sweet, or something to cool you down.
This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, bought from Sam’s Club in the heyday when I was probably still in my twenties. Well, I just checked the book, and it was the 1994 edition. Let us not dwell about the past, and let us dwell on these cranberries that are in season right now.
I bought the giant bag of cranberries, since I could not remember how much I would need. To be on the safe side, and to prevent a repeat trip to the grocery store, I selected the giant bag, knowing that I could always make double or triple batches, or try different recipes with cranberry. The other things that I needed were sugar, gelatin, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Oh, and water!
After washing the cranberries, I put them into a 4 quart pan and added the water.
Put them on the stove, and cooked them until the water started to boil. Then I simmered it for five minutes until the skins popped.
I lined my butcher table with a towel (later, towels), since I was dealing with red color here. I knew there would be splatter, so to prevent red dots all over my butcher table, I covered it with a towel. Then I plugged in my immersion blender and put it inside the pot.
Then I turned on the immersion blender and started pureeing the cranberries. Please note that I did not wait until the cranberries cooled slightly. I knew I was dealing with hot stuff, so I was extra careful. I would suggest that if you are making this recipe, to let the cranberries cool slightly before you puree them.
Until I had cranberry puree.
Then I used a strainer to remove the skin.
As you can see there was quite a lot of skin in the strainer. I discarded the skin and proceeded to strain it one more time.
And after all that, I had cranberry puree.
In another pan, I added the sugar.
Then I added the gelatin. On my first batch, I did not stir the gelatin and I had to cook it longer than it needed to. On my second batch, I got smart, and mixed the gelatin and sugar, and the gelatin dissolved nicely.
To dissolve the gelatin, I just reheated the cranberry puree in low/medium heat. You can see the big chunk of gelatin clump in this picture, because I did not mix the gelatin into the sugar.
About eight minutes later, finally the gelatin was dissolved.
I added the orange juice into the cranberry puree…
Mixed them in and let them cool a bit before I poured it into a 9 x 13 baking pan. I covered it with plastic wrap and put them into the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up a bit.
Then I used a plastic scooper and started scooping the semi frozen cranberry mixture into the mixing bowl. With my other batches, I actually got busy and did not have the time to do this next step until several days later. I just let the cranberry mixture sit on the counter for a few minutes before I could cut them into chunks with a paring knife.
Although I froze it for a little over four hours, not all of the cranberry mixture got firmed up. No worries there. They would all be whipped up and fluffed up.
See what I mean?
Then I transferred the cranberry mixture into a freezer proof container and froze it until firm.
This was my other batch, where the cranberry mixture were left frozen in the freezer for several days. But I could still cut them up with a paring knife into chunks and beat it with the mixer to fluff it up.
And when it was ready, serve it. My neighbor’s kiddos approved this recipe. So, try it and enjoy it while there are still cranberries at the grocery store. Until my next post!
Print recipe here.
Recipe Courtesy: Better Homes and Garden cookbook, America’s Best Love Community Recipes
4 cups of fresh or frozen cranberry, about 1 lbs
3 ½ cups of water
2 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
1¼ cups of orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
Wash cranberries and put them in a 3-4 quart size pan.
Add water, and cook until the water starts boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until berries are popped.
If you have an immersion blender, you can immediately puree the cranberry – carefully, since it is still hot. Or, you can let it cool slightly and puree it in a blender or food processor.
Once the berries are pureed, remove skins with a strainer (you can use cheese cloth as well). Repeat straining process if you still see a lot of skin in the cranberry puree.
In another pan, add sugar and gelatin, mix well.
Then carefully pour the cranberry puree into the pan with sugar, and cook in low/medium heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
Cool puree mixture before transferring to a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Cover with saran wrap and freeze for about 4 hours until the mixture becomes almost firm.
Scoop chunks of mixture and put it into a mixing bowl, beat with electric mixer until fluffy. You may need to do this in batches if you have a smaller size mixing bowl.
Transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze until firm.
Serve and enjoy.
Note: One recipe made about 4 – 5 cups of sorbet.