Cranberry-Orange Sorbet with Fennel Seeds

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.

13 comments to “Cranberry-Orange Sorbet with Fennel Seeds”

  1. Julie, Thomas and I are sitting around the laptop drooling over this recipe. I think Jules should make this in her ice cream maker… right now :)

  2. She really should. It is crazy good!

  3. wow. i never would of thought of this flavor combination. It sounds and looks delicious. Blogs you can taste test…the wave of the future.

  4. Mmmmmm, yum yum in ma tum tum. Looks delicious, do you think I could use the ocean spray whole cranberry stuff in the tin? I’m not able to get cranberries where I live.

  5. Hey Chantal:
    That is a really good question. I honestly have no idea if it would work, but I think anything is worth a try. I would heat it, add some orange zest and fennel seed and see what happens. I think that Ocean Spray stuff is sweetened so there wouldn’t be any need to add sugar. Hmmm, let me know if it works!

  6. This looks beautiful, and I like the idea! It’s amazing how just a teaspoonful of spice can totally transform a dish.

  7. Ingenious! I always walk past the fresh cranberries at the store, but never buy them because I dodnt know what to do with them. This is a great idea and looks beautiful and refreshing.

  8. This looks so good! I love that you’ve also used fennel seeds. I don’t think I can get fresh cranberries here, unfortunately.

  9. This looks & sounds amazing. And that Thanksgiving dinner was FABULOUS! Was thrilled to be there, & only too happy to make something new & delicious. You’re the best, Tim, and Lottie + Doof is a total delight.

  10. Susan Wagner says:

    November 7th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Oooh…. how interesting! My dear husband gave me an ice cream maker for Valentine’s Day and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I love fennel… so I will definitely give this a try!

  11. Is it wrong of me to think that replacing the fennel seeds with mini semi~sweet chocolate chips would be a good thing?

  12. Looks so good! I’m happy to have stopped by :D

  13. Another great reason to have an ice cream maker! This looks fantastic! Drooling just thinking about it. The fennel is an interesting addition I never would have thought of. Thanks!

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