Spring is definitely here in Chicago now and the weather is starting to get warm. It’s awesome!
I had been meaning to buy an ice cream maker for a while, cuz ice cream is delicious, and why not?! But I’d been putting it off because it’s sort of a big investment, and also it was winter. And cold.
But then I stumbled across a recipe for Woodchuck Hard Cider Sorbet. I have a serious thing for Woodchuck hard cider so that pretty much tipped the scales and we bought a fun, vintage-looking one last week. 🙂
And it turned out DELICIOUS! I mean, who doesn’t love sorbet? And when you make it out of hard cider it’s pretty much the best thing ever. It was delicious and refreshing and best of all ALCOHOLIC! *Ahem* Remember, moderation is your friend. If you’re just having some for dessert at home you’re probably okay. If you make this in bulk and bring it to a party, remember to confiscate everyone’s keys first. 🙂
It was actually a lot easier than I had expected. The last time I used an ice cream maker it was a metal cylinder in a wooden bucket with a handle you had to manually turn for at least an hour! Can you say sore muscles?!
This time we used an electric ice cream maker with a motor that rotates the canister for you. It’s not one of those totally fancy ice-less ones with a thermal canister; we still had to buy a few bags of ice to keep the canister cold. But the electric motor sure helped!
This recipe is adapted from the original recipe at Elle’s New England Kitchen.
- 2 bottles of Woodchuck Hard Cider, refrigerated (12 oz each)
- 2 T white sugar
- 1 T lemon juice
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Taste it to see if it’s sweet enough. The Woodchuck cider is already pretty sweet, so 2 T sugar was enough for us, but you can add more if you want it sweeter.
Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is sweet enough, make sure it is still pretty cold. This will help speed up the churning and freezing process. If it isn’t cold enough, refrigerate the whole mixture for a while before starting the ice cream making part.
At this point you should follow the directions for your ice cream maker. Or, if you don’t have an ice cream maker you can pour the mixture into a 9×13 baking pan (or some other shallow container) and freeze it. Once it’s frozen just break it up into chunks, stick it in a blender, and mix until slushy!
The original recipe says it took about 35 to 40 minutes for her sorbet to get to a good sorbet texture. Our ice cream maker doesn’t have a frozen canister so it took a little longer. Also, remember that alcohol doesn’t freeze at the same temperature as water, so if you’re using alcohol in an ice cream recipe be ready for it to take a bit longer.
|It’s cute and vintage looking though!|
We poured the cider mixture into the canister, hooked it up to the motor, and then filled the space between the bucket and the canister with layers of ice and regular table salt. You can use rock salt as well, but we didn’t have any. Once the ice reached the top of the canister we filled the bucket with cold water. Then we turned it on and let it get to work!
We came back every 20 minutes to check the ice level. As it melted down we added more ice, salt, and water and stirred it up a bit.
It ended up taking a little over an hour for it to get to the consistency we wanted. If you want to eat it right away that’s totally fine! But remember, if you want it a little firmer, at least for sorbet, you can stick it in the freezer for a few hours and it will harden up.
Have you ever made ice cream or sorbet before? I’m excited to try a few more new recipes now that we have this fun ice cream maker (I’m thinking pumpkin ice cream is next on the docket!) Do you remember making ice cream before electric motors? It was delicious, but it was sure a lot of work!