Each year I get all giddy as cherries come into season and start to appear in the farmer’s market. Cherries are definitely my favorite fruit and Madelyn can just eat them like they’re candy. I have to ration them so that they last longer than a day. This month for Improv Challenge, our assigned ingredients were cherries and almonds. Due to Maddy’s peanut allergy I’m not able to use most other nuts either despite the fact that she only reacts to peanuts. It’s difficult to find almonds that haven’t been processed on equipment that also processes peanuts.
I was already thinking about a sorbet the moment I saw what the ingredients were and good luck keeping Maddy away from anything sweet and frosty. She definitely inherited the ice cream gene. So I knew I needed to come up with a fix so that Maddy would also be able to enjoy this frozen delight. I decided to “stretch it” a little bit here. I made a fresh cherry sorbet that has a bit of almond extract in it. Any time I bake with cherries I always add almond extract because it really complements the cherry flavor and takes it to the next level. I’m able to use almond extract since I learned that most commercial almond extracts are not even derived from almonds. They are made from the kernels of peach or apricot pits. Who knew?
This sorbet is all about the cherries, they reign supreme here. If you love cherries the way I do, you’re going to be in heaven. I used sweet cherries but you can surely use any cherry that you like. One of the great things about this recipe, from a health perspective is that there is hardly any sugar in it. Only a few tablespoons in the entire batch! As a mother and a person who tries to eat relatively healthy, this thrills me. The other part of me, the grown up me is thrilled by the other batch I made. The boozy sorbet!
Oh yes, you can have some fun with the flavor here by adding wine in place of water. You can add white or red, whichever you prefer. I made two additional versions, one using a Moscato wine and the other using a Cabernet Sauvignon. Both were fantastic! I loved how the wines changed the taste and added their own complexity to the sorbet. So use your favorite wine and just see what happens. With either wine or water this is a vibrant, refreshing treat that is easy and quick to make.
*What’s your favorite frosty treat?
Now, let’s go see what the rest of the Improv Challenge people have made this month!
*Must be something about this time of year that makes me crave sorbet! Didn’t realize that a year ago I had also posted sorbet.*
Cherry Almond Sorbet
4 cups pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)
1 cup of water or 1 cup of your favorite wine
2-4 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (taste and see, I only used 2 in any of mine)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
– Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
– Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and strain the cherry mixture, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.
– Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions until firm and slushy. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
*If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and place the pan on a level surface in your freezer. Stir and scrape the sorbet with a fork every 30 minutes, moving the frozen edges in toward the center and crushing any lumps, until firm and slushy, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Adapted from Eating Well