Frozen desserts would seem to be the last option in the dead of winter, but my ice cream maker gets a workout even during cold weather. Then again, “cold weather” in New Orleans is…well, let’s just say yesterday’s forecast was 73/57° F. Brrr.
But even though it’s winter, that’s not to say that I can’t make it seasonal. Sorbets are a prime way to exhibit seasonal flavors in a potent and direct way. And if you have a penchant for tart flavors that are still perfectly sweetened (me! me!), this one’s for you. This winter-appropriate sorbet has not one but two tart flavors–cranberries and grapefruit–yet it’s not mouth-puckeringly tart. Hmm…I suppose the generous quantity of sugar and corn syrup helps out in that department.
It’s also interspersed with little soft bits of cranberries, a welcome departure from the typical frozen baby food texture of many sorbets. And the color? A stunning magenta. My kind of dessert. Even if you have “real” winter, this sorbet’s a winner. Happy New Year!
Cranberry Grapefruit Sorbet
adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home (she calls it “Cranberry Royale Sorbet”)
Sometime I find homemade sorbets hard and icy straight out of the freezer, but this sorbet has a perfectly scoopable texture due to the use of corn syrup.
Makes about 1 quart
1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries (fresh or frozen, no need to defrost)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/8 cups) water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
Prep: Using a vegetable peeler, remove 3 large strips of zest from one of the grapefruits. Halve the grapefruit(s) and squeeze 3/4 cup juice. (You may only need to use one grapefruit. Two grapefruits are listed in the ingredients, but I was able to get 3/4 cup juice from one.)
Cook: Combine the grapefruit zest and juice, cranberries, water, corn syrup, and sugar in a 4-quart saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until the cranberries have popped open and are cooked. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature.
Chill: Remove the grapefruit zest. If desired, puree the cranberry mixture (in batches if necessary) in a food processor or blender to desired texture. I left some little bits of cranberry in the sorbet, and it was delicious. Feel free to leave it unpureed for a chunkier sorbet.
Fill a large bowl with ice and a little water. Carefully pour the cranberry mixture into a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag and seal tightly. Submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let chill, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Freeze: Pour the sorbet base into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and churn until it reaches the consistency of very softly whipped cream.
Pack the sorbet into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface of the sorbet, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.