Cherry Lemon Sorbet

As I strolled around the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’ Market last weekend, I noticed one (very important) thing: cherry season had arrived! I snatched two pints of the best looking sour cherries and knew immediately that I would be making sorbet.

As soon as I returned home, I dug out my cherry pitter and got to work… for the time it took me to pit 10 cherries. With nearly 100 cherries sitting in front of me and merely 10 or so pits sitting in a barren bowl, I knew that this wasn’t going to work. At least not then; my friend was already sitting around waiting for me to play tennis and this was just prolonging things. So, I whipped out the food mill and passed the two pints through in no time!

I was left with an immaculate-looking cherry juice that – in all honesty – I’m surprised lasted long enough to be made into sorbet. It would’ve been incredible to just drink on its own. The color was impossibly deep; my camera couldn’t really capture its depth.

Luckily, though, the cherry nectar lasted long enough to welcome some lemon juice, simple syrup, and vodka. What else could one need? Eight hours and a quick churn later left me with the best – by far – sorbet I’ve ever had. Period. This might be the must-make of the summer. (Don’t have an ice cream machine? Check out these tips from David Lebovitz. You really don’t need one.)

For the Cherry Lemon Sorbet:

  • 2 Pints of Fresh, Sour Cherries
  • Juice and Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 3/4 Cup of Simple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Corn Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Vodka
  1. Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of water, and 2 tbsp of corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil and let simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, pass the cherries through a food mill with the finest disk insert until you’re left with as much cherry juice as possible in the bowl and pits and skins in the mill. If you don’t have a food mill, manually pit the cherries, puree in a food processor or blender, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  3. Combine the cherry juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, simple syrup, vodka, and a small pinch of kosher or sea salt in a bowl that can fit in your refrigerator.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours, then churn according to your ice cream machine’s instructions or whatever freezing process that you’re using.
  5. Devour. Or savor.
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3 Responses to “Cherry Lemon Sorbet”


  1. 1 natalie kreher July 22, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    Oh my this look amazing!!!!!!!! You are so talented!
    P.s. what kind of camera do you have? You take lovely food photos!

    • 2 Matthew Luongo July 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Thank you so much!! Luckily, it tasted as good as it looked 😉

      I use the Canon Powershot SX 130 IS; it’s a “higher end” point-and-shoot. I wasn’t ready to purchase a DSLR and its accompanying lenses so I went with this. When I bought it a few months ago, it was on sale at Office Max for – if I remember correctly – about $180 with a free case and 4 GB SD card. Not sure if the sale is still going on, but there might be one at another store. Overall, I’m really happy with the results it’s given me! I shoot in Manual most of the time and do slight post-processing in Photoshop.


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