With all of the heavy and decadent desserts available this time of year, I eventually find myself craving something a little lighter. Sure, I eat my fair share of apple and pumpkin pies, donuts, and cookies. But I reach a point where I feel like if I take another bite of a heavy dessert, I’m going to go into a sweet-induced coma.
And while I love ice cream, sorbet ranks right up there as one of my favorite frozen treats. Although it’s typically associated with summer (think lemon, mango, and raspberry sorbets), I decided to give it a more seasonal twist by using spiced apple cider as the base.
I also recently read that alcohol is the key to creating a homemade sorbet that doesn’t turn into a rock when it’s fully frozen. Say no more – I’m on it.
I initially thought rum would work well, but we didn’t have any, and I’ve spent enough money on random food-related purchases this week. Then I remembered one of my favorite sorbets – black raspberry merlot. I believe Ciao Bella is the brand, and it’s absolutely phenomenal. As an added bonus, I feel very sophisticated when I eat it, as opposed to my other favorite flavor – mint chocolate chip. So, I poured a couple of tablespoons of red wine into the mix, resulting in a lovely pink color that gave it just a hint of merlot.
And what do you know? Adding just that little bit of wine created a sorbet with a perfectly scoopable texture, even after sitting in my freezer overnight. I think this is going to make it necessary that all of my homemade ice creams contain alcohol moving forward. Damn.
- 2½ C. Spiced Apple Cider (I used TJ’s brand)
- ¼ C. Granulated Sugar
- 1½ C. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbs. Red Wine
- Heat cider and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and add to mixture: apple sauce, lemon juice, and red wine. Stir to combine.
- Transfer cider mixture to a tupperware and place in fridge until chilled (a couple of hours).
- Once chilled, pour cider mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (about 20 minutes) until just frozen. The texture will resemble a frozen drink.
- Allow sorbet to harden in the freezer for 4 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency.