Monday, October 10, 2011

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe

Cranberry Sorbet

Whenever I buy a new cookbook (and I am totally not going to divulge just how often that might be), I find that there is always a stand-out recipe that really catches my eye - one that screams at me "you have to make this".  It might even be the recipe that convinces me I just have to buy the book.  It will get bookmarked;  every time I take it off the bookshelf I will remind myself that I have to make this recipe;  and yet I will often make dozens of other recipes from the book, but not the very one that had attracted me to the book.  Sound familiar?  Oh, come on, admit it - I just know that I am not the only one who does that.

Anyhow, such was the case when I purchased Tessa Kiros' gorgeous book "Falling Cloudberries", which I told you about last week.  This cranberry sorbet in fact graces the cover of this book, and I knew that I just had to make it, if only because I could not resist the idea of making something of such sublime colour.  And yet, somehow, every time I got the book off the shelf and drooled over the cover photo I ended up making something else.  Until now ... I told you last week that the I Heart Cooking Clubs group is now cooking for the next six months with Tessa Kiros, and since our theme for this week is Pot Luck it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rustle up a little sorbet.

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this - I'm guessing for those of you living in the northern hemisphere, you must be getting pretty close to fresh cranberry time, but here in New Zealand I had to settle for frozen ones.  On a whim, I also added a couple of tablespoons of orange flavoured liqueur.

This is an absolute breeze to make, especially with the assistance of an ice cream maker.  The result is very fresh and tart, but I find there is a certain dissonance going on that I really can't get my head around.  Now don't get me wrong - I love tart, bitter, sour flavours, but there is something about the look and colour of this sorbet that makes you think it is going to be really luscious and sweet.  With every spoonful, I find that my eyes are telling my brain that a certain fruity sweetness awaits, and indeed the first notes that my palate registers are sweet, but the finish is decidedly tart, and then my brain just feels all confused.  So, it's not unpleasant - it's actually rather nice - but it is just not what my brain thinks my mouth should be experiencing.  In all, as a dessert, I find this a little unsatisfying - there is just something about the expectation and all that confusion, that makes this not really work for me as a dessert.  However, I'm finding a nice spoonful or two mid-afternoon is an absolute delight, and I imagine it could also work really well as an inter-course palate cleanser.    I would say that this is worth making at least once, if only for the sheer beauty of it, but also I think it's good to surprise your tastebuds every so often with something they aren't expecting.  If you give this a try, I'd love to know what you think.

Cranberry Sorbet Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Tessa Kiros from
Makes approximately 1.25 litres
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

500g (1 lb) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1-1/2 cups (345g) caster sugar
3-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur (optional)

Put the washed cranberries into a pot with the water and sugar.  Stir constantly while you bring up to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the berries are soft.

Puree using an immersion blender, strain, and set aside to cool completely.  Refrigerate overnight.

Next day, add the liqueur (if using), and then process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

If you would like to get to know Tessa a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

... or check out Falling Cloudberries and many of Tessa's other great titles available from Amazon or Fishpond NZ.


Sweet New Zealand Badge

I am also sharing this post with Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blog event created by the very lovely Alessandra Zecchini, and which it is my pleasure to be hosting this month. This is an opportunity for all Kiwi bloggers (whether you are living in New Zealand or overseas), as well as for non-Kiwi bloggers living in New Zealand, to connect and share some of those sweet treats from your kitchen.  You can find all the details, along with a linky tool to make it really easy to submit your entry right here.


  1. That looks beautiful,,,perfect for a Summer evening. That book also looks fantastic.... :) she said surreptitiously checking it out on Amazon :) For me cookbook are like shoes....a girl can never quite have enough!

  2. Looks great, beautiful colour, I have been thinking about sorbets myself lately. You got your post in early for Sweet NZ, very organized

  3. Like the vibrant colour and how it screams Summer !

  4. @Mairi@Toast It's a great book - you're right - you can never have too many :-)

  5. @peasepudding Thanks Alli - it's such a rarity for me to make sweet things, so I'm pleased to have got this one in instead of scrambling around in a panic at the end of the month :-)

  6. @Vanille Thanks Vanille - you're right - it does scream summer, which is kind of funny given that cranberries are really a fall fruit. Times like this frozen fruit really come into their own :-)

  7. Your version looks just as stunning as the cover photo on the book. I have been wanting to make this sorbet--after seeing yours I have to move it closer to the top of the list. ;-)

  8. I do the same thing when buying cookbooks and am happy to hear someone else say the same thing:) The sorbet looks stunning, but I can understand the dissonance. I once tried making a cranberry liqueur and felt much the same way.

  9. Oh no, you're definitely not the only one! This is so beautiful, and it caught my eye in the book as well. I think I'd probably expect it to be sweet, as well...but it seems more of a palate cleanser, no? Either way, lovely!

  10. That is a gorgeous looking sorbet! You are right, most of the time, it is the cover picture that attracts us to buy that cookbook in the first place, and most of the time, that recipe gets to queue in line for its turn! Sounds really familiar! I would love to try the sorbet if I can get some frozen cranberries! Have a lovely week!

  11. cookbook thing...sounds very familiar.

    This issue that you wrote about is wild, right?! Brains can be pretty stubborn that way. My son recently had a fight with chicken crostada. He saw pie crust and thought "sweet," so the chicken part was really confusing!

    This sorbet is beautiful! Guess I'll just have to tell myself "not sweet."

  12. What a beautiful color on that sorbet :) It sounds refreshing :)

  13. I can totally relate to the cookbook quibble! It is always fun to finally make that recipe that "hooked" you in though.

    Your sorbet looks amazing. I've had that one bookmarked for the past couple of weeks. I appreciate your honest review. I think I will have to add some extra sugar to mine since I'm hoping to please the kids with this one, they can't wait for me to try some of Tessa's frozen treat recipes :)

  14. That looks so awesome! I too love the color.

  15. Great entry for Sweet New Zealand Sue :-). I saw a cranberry sorbet in Mary's blog a few days ago and I thought then, and repeat it now, it is a great idea because there is not that much that seem to be done with cranberries otherwise. Now let's hope that we will go into Sorbetto time soon!!!

  16. I have never tasted, or even knew there was a recipe for cranberry sorbet...and why not? have proved it to be otherwise!
    Amazing, colorful, light, and oh, so perfect sorbet:DDD
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. I live in cranberry territory, it is a First Nations crop here. And I love the bittersweet flavour of it.
    Great choice! I'm going to have to try this soon, I have an extra bag in the freezer from T-day.

  18. I love the vibrant colour of this sorbet, perfect for summer. Yum!


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