Boston / Massachusetts, Desserts, Holidays / Entertaining, Ice Cream / Frozen Treats, Nostalgia, Pink Things

Cape Cod Sherbet

It’s almost November and I can’t believe I’ve been in San Francisco for over 5 months. It still has a very unreal feeling honestly, probably because I’ve been working from home for my old company in Cambridge the entire time. But that sweet deal is wrapping up on Monday and I’ll officially be jobless. Whee! So…by the way…are you hiring?

Anyway, usually November means sneaking in a few early Christmas songs, making holiday plans, and hoping and praying that my winter coat still fits me when I pull it out of storage. This year I’m going to assume that those wool pea coats are staying put, but unfortunately that also means so are we. That’s right. No big-crazy-festive-food-filled Kelly Family Thanksgiving this year for us. It makes me sad and I’m sure it makes CK feel doubly so. Don’t worry; we’ll still whip up a batch of Aunt Kara’s Ambrosia out in the west coast.

In the meantime though I thought that perhaps a new Thanksgiving tradition might be in order and I just happened to come across this recipe for Cape Cod Sherbet and it seriously spoke to me. Not only is it a pink food, but it also references a common beverage from back home (*sigh* nostalgia) and allows you to still get some traditional cranberries onto the holiday menu without resorting to the been-there-done-that boring old side of cranberry sauce. Plus, awesomely enough, this sherbet is spiked. So please keep the kids away and consider giving them some Turkey Cake instead. This boozy treat is for grown-ups only.

Cape Cod Sherbet
Makes 1 quart
Originally published in Ice Cream Happy Hour by Valerie Lum and Jenise Addison

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups milk
1 packet (1 tablespoon) gelatin
3/4 cup cold (refrigerated) vodka

Combine the cranberries 1/3 cup water, and the sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring periodically to prevent sticking, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until most of the skins have popped and the cranberries resemble preserves, about 15 minutes.

Once the cranberries are cooked, immediately puree them in a food processor or blender. Note: Do not allow to cool first as the cranberry mixture may start to gel due to the release of pectin during cooking.

Carefully strain the hot cranberry mixture into a large heatproof bowl and whisk in the milk. Before refrigerating place the bowl in an ice bath for 30 minutes. Then cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

When the custard is cold and you’re ready to churn the sherbet, pour the remaining 1-cup of water into a small saucepan and evenly sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow the mixture to sit until the gelatin appears to have absorbed as much water as it can, about 2 minutes.

Gently warm over low heat and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the liquid, about 3 minutes.

Pour the water and gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk in the cold alcohol until combined.

Remove the cranberry custard from the refrigerator. Stream the alcohol and gelatin mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the custard and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Pour the cold custard immediately into the ice cream maker and churn for at least 20 minutes. Due to the alcohol content, you may wish to churn it longer to get the desired thickness. If you don’t want to serve it immediately, or you want a firmer texture, transfer it to a freezer-proof container and freeze for several hours before serving.