I had forgotten to be on the lookout for fresh cranberries, so when I saw this recipe I called the produce departments at Fiesta and Whole Foods. I was told by both that fresh cranberries are rarely available beyond the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. No frozen value brands were in stock either, so I ended up with two 10oz bags of frozen organic cranberries grown in the American Pacific Northwest. I paid $8, which was neither exorbitant nor a pittance, either. I grabbed a few Texas-grown oranges, and that was all I needed to get started.
I decided to use all 20oz of berries, so I adjusted all the other ingredients accordingly.
In no time, my berries softened and I was left with a bowl of soft fruit and juice. Adding the rest of the ingredients, including a little Triple Sec, gave me the following mixture:
After cooling the mixture and running it through my food processor, I filled my sink with ice and began chilling the mixture quickly and thoroughly.
I finally placed the bowl into the freezer. I pulled the bowl out every 30-60 minutes and whisked it, as David Lebovitz suggests for those of us without ice cream machines. Thankfully this wasn't as much of a drag as I had expected it would be! After about four hours I left it alone, and the next morning I had a sorbet with a pretty nice texture:
I love fruit desserts, but I'm often just as happy with the whole fruit itself. That said, I have a theory that making sorbet is one of the surest ways to take a fruit and make it even nicer. I can now confirm that this holds true for cranberries.
This sorbet has a bold flavor, which should surprise no one. I sampled a few whole cranberries before I began baking, and I wouldn't opt to eat a full cup of them. I quickly ate a cup of this sorbet, though! The sorbet's flavor is close to that of the cranberries themselves; the tart and bitter notes are still clear. But the orange juice and sugar do a good job of sweetening, and the results are grown-up and yummy. Unsurprisingly, I think this dessert tastes quite like the cranberry sauce we enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner. As such, this sorbet would be particularly nice as an unexpected holiday dessert. February is an a-okay time for it, too!