A frozen dessert made with apple cider and pomegranate juice, light and refreshing, bursting with the richest flavors of fall.
The beginning of November brought with it the end of Daylight Saving’s Time. As much I appreciated the extra sleep granted to me Sunday morning, I’m already sick of the daylight fading entirely away before 6:00PM. This early evening darkness saps all of my motivation and energy to do just about anything other than to change into my pajamas and crawl into bed immediately after returning home from work.
I’m hoping that it’s just a matter of adjustment, and once we’ve made it through this first (dismal, dark, depressing…) week I feel a little more inspired to do… anything. Until then, I just have to remind myself that there are plenty of good things about Fall, like fresh-pressed ciders and ripe red pomegranates and sweet sorbets that marry these two flavors together.
This recipe requires smooth and seedless pomegranate juice, free from the fibers and skin and seeds of the conspicuous and ill-cloven fruit pictured above..
Unfortunately, I am fairly clueless on how one might effectively glean any substantial amount of juice from a pomegranate (especially without making their kitchen resemble a violently speckled crime scene). I’ve learned how to coax the stubborn throng of seeds from the fruit (cut your pomegranate in half, hold the cut end over a large bowl, and beat the outside with a wooden spoon until all the seeds have been shaken out. Wear a shirt that you don’t love), and I imagine after that it would be a matter of pressing or mashing and straining, but I’m not sure.
Fortunately a brand aptly named POM sells 100% pomegranate juice in bottles (there may be other manufacturers of pomegranate juice that I’m not aware of, but I found this bottle refrigerated in the produce section) which worked perfectly with no mess.
This sorbet is lightly sweet, gently tart, and melts on your tongue. Frozen (but disturbed often throughout the freezing process) in a 13×9 pan, you get the best texture by scraping the surface of the sorbet for an almost flaky texture.
A small (very small) drop of vanilla extract lends warm tones to the sorbet (though you could alternatively use a splash of lemon juice for a more tart and more refreshing flavor) and a shot of vodka helps keep the sorbet from freezing too firmly in the freezer.
Pomegranate Apple Cider Sorbet would make a wonderful Thanksgiving (or anytime) dinner companion, dessert, or palate cleanser
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice (you can make your own or purchase Pom brand, which I opted to do)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vodka (it helps keep the sorbet softer)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (also optional it gives the sorbet a warmer, deeper flavor, alternatively you could add a splash of lemon juice for a more refreshing and lighter taste)
- In medium-sized saucepan combine apple cider, pomegranate juice and sugar over medium-high heat.
- Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat, stir in vodka and vanilla extract.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour into 13x9 pan and transfer to freezer.
- Allow to freeze 4-6 hours (or overnight), scraping/stirring the contents of the pan once an hour for the first 3 hours.
- If sorbet is difficult to scoop, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before scooping and serving.
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