Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Sorbet


You probably guessed this was coming, but I am once again obsessing over cranberries. This time in the form of sorbet. Last year I created a sorbet based on my favorite Thanksgiving cranberry sauce recipe and this year I found a recipe that combines tart cranberries with smooth vanilla into one delicious frozen treat.


Your first bite of this sorbet is smooth and vanilla but as it settles on your tongue you get the sweet and tangy punch of cranberry. They are really great together, which I should probably have already known after the coffee cake. This could be a refreshing and cool finish to your Thanksgiving feast.


Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Sorbet (adapted from Bon App├ętit, November 2009)

  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Combine cranberries, water, sugar and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Scrape in seeds of the vanilla bean. Add bean to mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cranberries pop and are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Remove vanilla bean from cranberry mixture. Working in batches, puree cranberry mixture in belnder. Strain into a large bowl; discard solids. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate cranberry mixture until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Transfer to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

18 comments to “Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Sorbet”

  1. OMG! Your pics made me salivate! I too love cranberries and cherish that call for them. I enjoy dried cranberries in my morning oatmeal every day. Now I MUST get an ice cream maker so that I can make this. If only I could spoon some of my PC screen!!

  2. . . . lots ot typos in my comment — couldn’t help myself — I’m still drooling!

  3. This reminds me so much of my family’s Thanksgiving! Every year we make cranberry ice, which is basically like a cranberry granita if you want to get fancy. It is the easiest thing ever to make but it will always remind me of home! It’s basically just cranberry jelly from a can and orange juice that you mix up and freeze and then every so often scrape as it freezes until you get a kind of slushy ice consistency. It is amazing!

  4. Peg- I am glad you are so excited! Get an ice cream maker!
    Hallie- that sounds really good. I am a huge fan of that cranberry jelly from the can!

  5. I love how bright the color is! I feel like a scoop would be good mixed with some booze into a brunch cocktail.

  6. I say this every time, but…your photos are incredible.

  7. i’ve been making alot of sorbets/sherbets lately, and have been using a stickblender to do it. once before it goes in the freezer, and then once or twice as it freezes. it works great. i don’t like the idea of buying an appliance (ice cream maker) that has only one use.

  8. Can you replace the sugar with anything else?

  9. Oh, just look at that color. Stunning.

  10. oooooh. i saw this in BA and clipped it – all i needed was some sort of tiny nudge to make it – thanks!

  11. Hi Josh! I don’t think you’d have much success replacing the sugar with something else, but you could try. Since the cranberries are so tart you need a fair amount of sweetness to balance them out.

  12. Hey Seth, I usually do not like unitaskers (I don’t even have a toaster) but I love my ice cream maker and haven’t found any method of producing ice cream that creates such fantastic results. Thanks for sharing the tip on the immersion blender, that is great for people without ice cream makers who happen to have immersion blenders!

  13. Thanks. I may just have to suck it up and eat some sugar. This looks delicious!

  14. This really is a great idea for a lighter note at Thanksgiving. I will be doing my first solo Thanksgiving this year (meaning no parents or grandparents to help – just kids – yikes!) and this seems just right with some prosecco after dinner… and before we sneak back into the leftovers. Thanks!

  15. funny that you should mention cranberries and vanilla because we were trying to make a cranberry sauce which called for port and orange juice and we had only one orange so we subbed in some Galliano vanilla liqeuer for the port and half a bottle of blood orange italian soda for the juice and the results were divine. Who knew vanilla and cranberries could go together? We thought we’d invented the best cranberry sauce ever. Can’t wait to try it with duck.

  16. Will you share what kind of ice cream maker that you have? Thanks in advance. -Tien

  17. Hi Tien,
    I have the Cuisinart “Pure Indulgence” here:
    I’ve had it for a couple of years and really love it. You should be able to find it online for around $50-60.

  18. Hi, Tim,
    Thanks for responding so quickly. I have been on the fence about getting an ice cream maker. My problem is that I love kitchen gadgets but am running out of kitchen space. X-mas is around the corner. Thanks again. -Tien

What do you think?