Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The 12 Days of Holiday Treats: Cranberry Sorbet Edition

'Tis the ultimate season for festive foods. In that spirit, I've decided to countdown the 12 remaining days to Christmas with a collection of holiday recipes, both naughty and nice. Sidebar: How is it 12 days until Christmas? Anyone else have no idea where in the world the last month went? Didn't I chow down on massive amounts of turkey, like, yesterday? Anyway...

To kick off the dozen days of Christmas delicious, I want to introduce you to what has become a December staple in my house: cranberry sorbet. This falls on the nicer side of the naughty/nice holiday food spectrum. It's fat free, albeit sugary, but has lots of fruit and is a great alternative to traditional ice cream. 

Unfortunately you need an ice cream maker for this one, but it's totally worth dusting yours off or finding one to borrow. This sorbet is tangy and slightly sweet with chunks of cranberries sprinkled throughout. Provided you don't have far to travel, it makes a great food gift that is a far departure from typical cookies or fruitcakes. 

Cranberry Sorbet
Up to 90 minutes, mostly unattended, plus several hours to freeze
Makes 3-4 cups
A Spoonful Original

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest

1.   Combine the orange juice, water and cranberries and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until cranberries start to pop open.
2.   Once the cranberries begin to open, use a wooden spoon to mash them against the side of the saucepan. Continue to mash until most of the cranberries have been pressed.
3.   Add the sugar and orange zest and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow the liquid to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until it cooks down to a syrup-like consistency.
4.   Place the mixture in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to cool.
5.   Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and finish according to the machine’s instructions.

Tips and Tricks:
  1. Don’t worry about mashing up the cranberries completely at the second step. As the liquid continues to cook and the ice cream machine beats the mixture, the berries will continue to break down.
  2. You will probably need to return the ice cream to the freezer to harden after the ice cream maker has finished. If you’re using certain containers to store the ice cream, transfer it to those containers before hardening it in the freezer. 

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