Too warm where you're at for hot spiced apple cider? Try this sorbet instead. This was on the menu for a wedding dessert reception we catered last fall, and it was also the first time we'd ever tried this recipe! Luckily it turned out great - one of our favorite things from the whole menu.
There's the sweet wild taste of apple cider, with a smooth and silky texture, and the spices come through at the end for warm autumn finish.
Don't worry too much about the alcohol you use here; it's for texture, not taste. We actually ended up using a mix of brandy and vermouth! The alcohol keeps the sorbet from freezing rock hard. This proportion worked very well for us.
Spiced Apple Cider Sorbet
1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
5 whole cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail (make sure it's 100% juice)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons dark rum or other alcohol
Stir together apple cider, sugar, cloves and cinnamon sticks in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat , stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon; discard.
Whisk in applesauce, cranberry and lemon juices and rum. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Freeze as directed in the instructions for your particular ice cream maker. (We find that we get the best texture when we freeze for a relatively short amount of time - about 15-20 minutes, or just until frozen. This seems to keep the texture silkier. As always, leave to harden in the freezer for at least four hours before serving.)
(Image: Faith Hopler)
Re-edited from post originally published on September 25, 2007