Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving: Cranberry Sherbet Redux

So, for the first time in about 5 years, I'm hosting Thanksgiving - which means I'm being confronted with the old - how do I do that again? I mean, it's bad enough when you're doing it once a year, but how much do you really remember from 5 years ago.

So, today I started with my Cranberry Sherbet and realized that I didn't remember any of the details - tough when it's such a vague recipe to start with. So, this year, I'm capturing it all - in detail.

I started with 4 bags of cranberries.
To this I added tap water until they started to float, and then added a bit more (I should have added a bit more than I thought). I boiled it for 10-15 minutes (so 20-25 minutes from when I turned on the heat). I stopped when it looked like most of the berries had burst open.

I poured the berry stuff into the colander and then pushed through a bit. Then I had a crisis, do I include the thicker stuff from the bottom of the colander or just the pure juice - one call to my aunt and I stuck with just pure juice (though my mom says she includes the stuff from the bottom of the colander (i.e., the seeds and 'thicker juice' is okay with her). The four bags plus my water gave me seven cups of juice. I added 3.5 cups of sugar and was ready to add more, but it was already almost too sweet (my mom told me that this year hers needed 3/4cup of sugar for every cup of liquid - so clearly we've either got different cranberries, different water quantities (don't know if that would really affect it) or different taste-buds).

Then it needs to boil a bit - I ended up doing this for 15-20 minutes (which I think was too much - I didn't have enough water left). I didn't get too much scum on the top, but when I left it for a few minutes it got like a fruit roll-up on top, so I figured that was good.
I poured it into four tupperware containers, each half-full (it puffs up when you whip it, so you need to fill about half full - I'd recommend one or two containers max, but I only had the little ones).

This is then frozen for at least 24 hours. Then whip it up with about ~1/4 cup of lemon juice and refreeze it for at least another 24 hours. In the end it should look like a beautiful deep magenta pink sherbet. Mine this year didn't freeze totally (I think it was that there wasn't enough water), I ended up with sort-of, half-frozen stuff (which tasted totally great, but just didn't have the form I was going for).


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