It's happening. Already. It always seems to sneak up on you. But let the eating season begin.
And, since dessert is obviously the best part of the meal, let's start with that. You don't need an ice cream maker to make this sorbet, though if you have one, it's a bit easier.
I have lots of recipes to share, so stay tuned. In the meantime:
Cranberry pear sorbet
Makes about 1 quart
A subtle pear essence underlies the tangy cranberry flavor in this stunning-looking knockout dessert. The cranberries don’t overpower the pears and the color is spectacular. You could try other fruits with the cranberries, such as poached apples, or pink grapefruit, or quince that has been cooked until soft. The only limit is your imagination. The good news is that you can make this without an ice cream machine.
2 cups (8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
3 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into large dice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1. With a vegetable peeler, remove 3 wide strips of orange zest from the orange. Halve the orange and extract the juice. Pour it into a measuring cup and add enough water to measure 1 1/2 cups.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the orange juice and water mixture, the orange zest strips, cranberries, pears, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cranberries soften and pop. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Remove the orange zest. In a food processor, puree half the cranberry and pear mixture until smooth. Repeat with the other half.
4. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Pour the sorbet mix into a gallon zipper bag, close the bag, and submerge it in the ice water. Leave for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is cold, adding ice as necessary. Alternatively, refrigerate overnight.
5. Pour the sorbet mix into an ice cream maker and churn until it looks like soft serve ice cream. Transfer to a container; press the top with a piece of parchment paper, and cover. Freeze for at least 4 hours. If the sorbet becomes too hard in the freezer, refrigerate it for about 15 minutes to soften it, or carefully soften it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time.
To make without an ice cream maker.
Although this is a two-step method that takes longer than freezing in an ice cream maker, it is handy to know about if you don’t have a machine. When the sorbet mix has chilled, place the bag on a flat tray and freeze for 3 to 4 hours, or until hard. Remove from the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly. Cut the bag open with scissors and peel back the top of the bag. With a heavy knife, cut the frozen slab into 1-inch chunks. One-third at a time, process in a food processor until the sorbet looks creamy and no chunks of ice remain. Pack in a container, and continue until all the sorbet is used. Press the top with a piece of parchment paper, and cover. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.