Last year Bryan and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I was pretty thrilled by the prospect of getting to cook that iconic meal. I wanted to pull out all of the stops and made most of the meal myself. This probably speaks to the my controlling nature because everyone offered to help cook or to bring things. Even my dear friend Molly, who happens to be one of the best cooks I know, offered to make a dish. I agreed, but only if she made a recipe I gave her. At the time Bryan pointed out that this was a little weird, and I guess in retrospect I understand that. Luckily, Molly is understanding and was happy to cooperate. (Thanks, Molly!) The meal was a real success and everyone had a nice time. I was exhausted, but pleased with my efforts. One of the things I enjoyed the most at that meal was a cranberry relish made with fresh cranberries, orange juice and fennel seeds.
I wanted to try to turn that relish into a sorbet and this weekend I finally did! It is really delicious. Sweet and tart and complicated, thanks to the addition of the fennel seed. I think it would be fun to serve this before dinner as an 80’s-style “palate cleanser”. However you serve it, this stuff is good. Real good. We ate it all in two days, and I still want more. This would be a really good use of those cranberries that are sitting in your fridge.
Cranberry-Orange Sorbet with Fennel Seeds
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- zest of 1 orange
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed lightly to release flavors
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
Heat cranberries, water, sugar, fennel seeds and zest in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir mixture, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Puree cranberry mixture in blender or food processor and then press the puree through a sieve to remove seeds and cranberry skins. Stir in orange juice. Chill mixture until cold and process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
***If you don’t like fennel seeds, I am sure this would be delicious without them.