July 28, 2016

Blackberry Sorbet

Remember that nationwide heat wave last weekend? I do. I'm still sweating, and Omaha's about to get another one next week. To me, that means exclusively eating frozen foods. I'm also in the middle of wrapping up my internship, so I'm totally up for eating ice cream straight from the pint while sneaking in an episode or two of Parks and Rec on Netflix between practice runs of my presentation. Unfortunately, I'm an adult now, so I can't live on ice cream alone; I have to get my fruit in somehow. My solution? Lots and lots of sorbet. This blackberry sorbet uses tons of fresh seasonal berries with a touch (ok a pretty big amount) of sugar, and it's accidentally fat-free (basically the best surprise ever).

Before you get too excited let me warn you that you do need an ice cream maker for this bad boy. You're not going to get a smooth, perfectly aerated sorbet unless you have something to simultaneously freeze and stir it. Unless you want to wedge yourself in your freezer with a bowl of this stuff and stir it for a while, I'd recommend buying a cheap ice cream maker to have on hand for emergencies like this. I think I got mine for around $25 at Costco a few years ago and there are plenty of similarly cheap ones that will get the job done.

What makes this sorbet so good is that it's perfectly smooth. I'm big on texture, so I throw the berries in a food processor with some water to loosen them and puree them until completely smooth. The seeds will never blend in and I don't want them getting stuck in my teeth while I eat the whole thing of sorbet, so I make sure to get a fine strainer and sift them all out. The pure berry puree gets mixed with sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of alcohol.

I recommend adding about a cup of sugar, but it depends on how sweet your berries are. I'd start with less and then keep adding as necessary. The lemon juice balances all that added sugar out, but you can swap it out for any other citrus. Blackberry-lime is always a good combination, and blackberry-orange is seriously underrated. The alcohol is a little trick to keep the sorbet from getting too hard in the freezer. Since alcohol has a lower freezing point than the rest of the sorbet, it keeps the mixture soft and scoopable without being melty. It's certainly not enough to get you drunk or even be noticeable flavor-wise, but it helps the texture immensely. I go for a flavorless vodka or a berry liquor, but feel free to experiment in that regard. You can also play around with different berry or fruit combinations since I know blackberries are only available for another few weeks. I know as soon as I get home next week my family will make me make a few batches of this before the berries are all gone.

3 Cups Fresh Berries
1 Cup Sugar (To Taste)
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Vodka or Berry Liqueur

Puree the berries with ½ cup cold water. Strain to remove seeds. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and alcohol. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then chill until cold.

Churn in ice cream machine until frozen.

Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated


  1. I'm an avid reader of your blog and would really love some video content of you preparing these dishes in the kitchen! I sometimes have trouble with making these look as delicious as your photos do. I really have enjoyed the amount of variety of food on here, are there any foods you don't like?

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