For way too many years I walked right by Bing cherries at the market because the thought of removing the pits from all those gorgeous luscious orbs was just mind numbing. I might break down and buy just enough to eat out of hand; of course somewhere that I could enjoy them and had a socially acceptable way to dispose of the pit – meaning when I was by myself with a napkin!
What had me change my mind about purchasing cherries? A gradual shift in attitude started some years ago when someone shared their homemade version of a cherry pitter (soda bottle and chopstick) with me. While that helped a bit I admit I lost too many cherries down the mouth of that contraption so I was delighted when cherry pitters for the home cook became available as a kitchen gadget. I now have this one from OXO in my kitchen but I remove the splatter guard; that pit can get hung up sometimes and I find it’s quicker to just be able to catch the pit in my hand and if it doesn’t appear? I can easily retrieve it from inside the cherry and keep on task. Not always easy; on this day that included having a dog sit next to me on the sofa and cry nonstop for ‘Just one more cherry Mom.’ Yes, I said a dog. She totally acts like an only child.
I was asked if I would like to sample a bottle of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava. It’s no secret I love sparkling wines; but the truth is I don’t drink them straight up. I always mix either cava or prosecco with a liqueur or in a cocktail. So admittedly I might not be the best arbiter of taste for any Cava poured all on their own. But I can say this…I LOVED this Cava with this sorbet. Actually drier than other brands I’ve had; it was a great complement to the sweetness of the sorbet; the two together were pretty perfect actually. The Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava was a great crowd pleaser in this application and at $10/bottle it’s priced right. The addition of a cherry conserve dolloped on top of the sorbet provided just a bit of mouthfeel that elevated this dish even more.
I’ve waited to make cherry sorbet since last summer when I got the urge at pretty much exactly the same time that fresh Bing cherries disappeared from market shelves. I also knew that to accomplish that task I would have to buy a new ice cream maker this spring. Did I do a lot of research on the best model? Of course I did. Consumer Reports? Heck no; I asked Twitter! Cuisinart has a 2 quart model that was highly recommended but when I saw the 1 and 1/2 quart model on sale at Costco for $25 I didn’t hesitate. It actually makes plenty of sorbet or ice cream for me…but I’m already thinking I need a 2nd freezer bowl; I have so many ideas brewing. I have to say these new-fangled ice cream makers are so worth it. No salt or water or cranking (it’s only romantic in our dreams, trust me) and the magic happens. I loved it.
Several times this summer I’ve made a cocktail and have thought at the time…wow, this is the best yet. So, right here, right now…this is the BEST. I just can’t quite decide…best cocktail or best dessert? Which do you think it is?
- 1 cup. water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 lb pitted fresh Bing cherries
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Kirsch (cherry brandy and also optional)
- 1 & 1/2 cups pitted fresh Bing cherries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp Kirsch (optional)
- Cherry Sorbet
- 1 Bottle of Chilled Cava
- Cherry Conserve
- Combine the sugar, water, cherries and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Heat until mixture comes to a boil; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes until cherries have softened.
- Place contents in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain over a clean container to remove solids.
- Add 2 tsp of cherry brandy and stir.
- Freeze according to manufacturers' directions. When freezing is complete, pack into a freezer safe container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours until firm enough to scoop.
- Put the cheerries, sugar and water into a medium size saucepan. Heat until it comes to a boil and them simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove cherries with a slotted spoon and continue to simmer liquid until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat
- Coarsely chop the cherries and return to the liquid; pour all into a container and refrigerate until cold.
- Place two small scoops of sorbet into martini glasses. Fill glass with cava. Garnish with the brandied cherry conserve.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a bottle of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava but I was not compensated for writing this post and all commentary is my own.