I have been seeing homemade ice creams, sorbets, granitas and sherbets popping up on food blogs all summer long and it’s been driving me bonkers! I really, really wanted to make some ice cream but I also didn’t want to find all the ice cubes needed for my ancient-but-oh-so-beautiful turqouise ice cream maker. I wondered if it was possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker? And then I remembered that last year I did make a Seville orange ice cream sans and it turned out just fine indeed.
It’s cherry season around here and I had some dark, sweet Bing cherries from the Okanagan just waiting to be used up…perfect for an icy treat. I also had buttermilk in the fridge and figured it would add the perfect amount of creamy tang to this sherbet. From the photo above, I obviously didn’t have a cherry pitter*, so I just used a knife to un-pit the cherries. They were going to be blended up so I wasn’t looking for intact-looking cherries. I just put on some loud music and got my pitting groove on!
Once you finish pitting, the hard part is over. The ingredients are easy enough to come by and the process is simple. I didn’t strain the liquid after blending which would have removed the cherry skin, but I actually liked the added texture of the itty-bitty nubbly bits. If you don’t, go ahead and strain the mixture before adding in the sugar. Now, the only thing you have to do is wait it out…and the wait can be a bit of a buzz-kill, especially when it’s really, really hot outside.
However, once the wait is over, scoop on in. The resulting sherbet is ripe and bursting with cherry flavour: it’s heady and gorgeous in taste and well, just look at the damn thing! It’s beautiful and it scoops like a dream. Enjoy this now while cherries are at their peak. I mean it, just do it.
* Uh, little did I know, I did have a cherry pitter. Cornelius brought it to my attention. He inherited it from his grandma and it sat unbeknownst to me in our drawer of strange kitchen things. Next time.
cherry buttermilk sherbet
3 1/3 c cherries
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c pomegranate-cherry juice blend
1 3/4 c buttermilk
2 T bourbon
1 t almond extract
1/4 c lime juice
Pit the cherries and place into a medium-sized saucepan. Add in the juice and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until cherries are soft, about 20 minutes. Use a hand blender or transfer the hot mixture to a blender and blend well until everything is totally liquefied. Stir in sugar until it has dissolved completely. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When the cherry mixture has chilled, add buttermilk, bourbon, almond extract and lime juice and stir to combine. If you have an ice cream maker, pour into maker and churn. Otherwise, pour mixture into a large rectangular cake pan and put in the freezer. Whisk the mixture every hour or so until it sets. Transfer to a lidded container and freeze for at least 4 hours.