Growing up, I added sorbet to the seemingly never-ending list of foods I disliked. I’d really only had store-bought sorbets, and to this day I find them wanting. The citrus ones are way too tart. All of them seem to lack flavor, but contain unsavory chemical undertones. I just figured sorbet was something I would go through life not really eating.
Fortunately, I have changed my mind after making some myself. It all started when I stumbled upon some fresh cherries in the fridge. We’d meant to take them to the beach with us the previous Saturday, but had forgotten them in our haste to get out the door. So there they sat, threatening expiration and decay. I couldn’t let that happen to the tasty little beauties in the height of their season, so I figured I’d try a sorbet with them.
OMG. So delicious. It was balanced between tartness and sweetness, the flavor was very robust, and it wasn’t icy or watery like some store-bought cartons tend to be. And it tasted very … pure. Very natural, with no hint of anything chemical-y. We scarfed the whole carton in a few days’ time. Oh, and this is vegan friendly!
I recommend a cherry pitter for pitting these things. I don’t have one; and you can manage without one, but if you use fresh cherries a lot, I’d definitely look into picking one up from a kitchen supply store. If you’re like me and don’t have one, here’s how you pit cherries.
-Wear clothes you do not care about.
-Have a large stack of paper towels handy.
-Take a cherry and gently smash it with the side of your knife. Do this gently because juice will come splurting out all over if you hit them too hard.
-Take the cherry, split it open and coax the pit out. It will come out very easily at this point.
-Repeat ad nauseum until you’re done with the whole bag.
2 lbs. cherries
1 cup water
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/8 tsp almond extract
Stem the cherries and remove the pits. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, warm the cherries over moderate heat with the water, sugar, and citrus juice until they start becoming very juicy. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very soft and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let stand until they reach room temperature.
Puree the cherries and their liquid with the almond extract in a blender until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Serve immediately or let it set up further in the freezer.