Monday, November 20, 2006

Cranberry Sherbet (Really!!)

There does seem to be somewhat general agreement that cranberries are an important part of Thanksgiving, so I don’t feel that I need to defend that as an assumption. They often show up in the form of jelly (occasionally, depending on one's predilections, in the form of cosmo’s), but in my family, we have them as a sherbet.

While there is not any part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal that I would willingly part with, there is something very special about Cranberry Sherbet. The story is that it’s a recipe of my grandmother’s (given the recipe, she was clearly a non-recipe kind of cook). I have no detail other than that. All I know, is it’s really the perfect accompaniment to a Thanksgiving meal.

Why, you may ask, should one go beyond the traditional jelly? For me the answer is a combination of three things: taste, temperature and color. Cranberry sherbet is a bit more tart, a bit more cranberry-y than most of the jellies that I’ve tried (I’m okay with having jelly as well, I quite like it myself). Everything else on the table is at least room temperature, if not hot, the contrast of the cold is very refreshing. And the color is a slightly neon cranberry color; it fits in with the rest of the fall tones, but adds a bit of excitement (it’s really pretty!).

Cranberry sherbet does what any good sorbet does, it cleanses the palette. It just does it in a way that keeps the taste in the Thanksgiving mood.

It’s really pretty easy. Go ahead and try it!Cranberry Sherbet
Cranberries (1 bag should serve about 6-8 people)
Lemon juice (1/8 cup per bag of cranberries)

Wash the cranberries. Put them in a stockpot and cover with water (they’ll bob up to the top, so don’t keep filling, just nicely covered with water). Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Strain (I use a colander) into a bowl.

Measure the juice as you put it back into the stockpot. Add ½ - ¾ (depending on your tart/sweet preference) as much sugar as you have juice. Boil until it thickens (there should be scum on the top). Freeze (at least overnight). Several hours before serving, add lemon juice and whip with a mixer (hand is fine if you’re like me and don’t have counter space for one of the nice ones). Freeze again. Serve (we usually just do a small scoop each because it does melt as you’re eating everything else – feel free to go back for seconds, I do).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was intrigued by your cranberry sherbet recipe - as it has been in my family for years. We use lime juice instead which must be a Mexican influence.

Appreciate your food and literary comments - nothing like Babette's Feast! Thnx

11:47 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

That's awesome! Nothing like a little variation on something that had begun to feel like a food anomoly (no one else has ever heard of it). I'm looking forward to trying the lime twist next year, but do recommend the lemon one to you.

2:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home