Although I love a good ice-cream, sorbets have always been a favourite of mine. As well as the joy of their intense, fruitier flavour, they’re also easier to make, because there’s no need to cook egg yolks or worry about fat ratios and emulsification.
Today’s method is simple: you make a compote by stewing the fruit with a little wine and sugar, blend it down to a puree, then freeze. You can adapt it for any stoned fruit; I’ve made similarly moreish sorbets with ripe, juicy plums and peaches.
Frozen cherries are cheaper and more convenient for this recipe, because you don’t have to deal with any pesky stones. However, make sure you use good-quality ones; some of the brands I’ve tried have an “old” taste to them that carries through to the final sorbet. If they aren’t tasty to eat once defrosted, they won’t make a good sorbet.
Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hour
900g fresh cherries or 800g frozen ones
150g white wine (or apple juice for an alcohol-free version)
50g granulated or caster sugar
If you’re using fresh cherries, you have two options for destoning them. Either do so before cooking by using a sharp knife to halve the cherries and pop out the stones, or a quicker (but messier) method is to cook the cherries as below, leave them to cool, then pop them out by hand.
To cook the cherries, put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the fruit has softened. Remove the lid and continue to cook the cherries until most of the liquid has evaporated and the fruit is starting to thicken and become jammy.
Once cooled, remove the stones (if doing so at this point) and transfer the contents to a blender. Blitz to a fine puree, then transfer to the bowl of an ice-cream maker to chill – follow the manufacturer’s instructions. After a few minutes, transfer to a 1-litre tub in the freezer to set fully. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, put a storage tub in the freezer before you start your prep. Once you’ve poured in the cherry puree, return the box to the freezer, then remove every 20-30 minutes, giving it a good stir each time, before returning to the freezer, until fully set. You will need to do this three or four times.