Summertime. Are you feeling it? Are you hot and sticky in the South, wading through humidity so thick it leaves a trail in your wake? Or is the air around you crackling, the breeze hot and hostile, the ground desiccated and broken? Are you surrounded by verdant green overgrowth that threatens to reclaim everything around it? Or are you high in the sky, with the blinds lowered, as as the streets below grow tacky from radiant heat?
Wherever you are, whatever variety of heat you are experiencing, may I offer some autoimmune disease friendly relief in the form a two-ingredient treat?
As a kid growing up in suburban New York, sorbet was not on my radar. Instead, summer meant a cherry Italian ice from the local pizza joint. It came in a paper cup with a wooden spoon, and the the best bit was the candied bottom – think ‘frozen melted cherry lollipop.’ We’d dig along the edge of the cup, flip the whole thing over, and eat the best part first. On a day when you might coax your mother into giving you an egg just to see if it really was hot enough to fry on the sidewalk, an Italian ice offered sweet relief.
This version bears no resemblance to the corn syrupy, molar hugging, red #40 confection of my childhood. At first glance, you might not even guess it’s made of cherries – so rich in anthocyanin (the antioxidant that gives food its red, blue, or purple color) it looks like shiraz made semi-solid. But the promise remains the same: sweet, cool deliverance. A temporary, seasonal escape. And these days, for me, that is more than enough.
If you’re gathering for a socially distanced bbq and you have on-site access to a food processor, let this be your contribution to the group. But don’t try and make it in advance – freezing reduces it to an icy, flavourless block. What we’re aiming for is glossy, satiny, coolness. If you’re having a staycation and looking for something celebratory to share, this is it. And if you’re alone, huddled in whatever shade you can find, and you eat the whole thing, I won’t tell.
Why you should make this:
It’s vegan, paleo, AIP, and Whole30 compliant – meaning you can satisfy nearly every dietary requirement with a single dessert.
It’s nutritious – cherries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
No specialty ingredients required.
And, best of all, you won’t have to turn on the oven.
- food processor
- 12 oz frozen organic sweet cherries
- 1 lime, juiced
- Empty your bag of frozen organic sweet cherries into your food processor.
- Prepare your lime for juicing by rolling it back and forth under the palm of your hand, while applying pressure.
- Cut your lime in half and squeeze it over the cherries. Get as much juice as you can.
- Fit the lid of your processor and blitz. Once the cherries are pulverized, stop and scrap the mixture down from the sides of the bowl. At this stage it will look like flecks of cherry – the next go-around will transform it into sorbet.
- Re-fit the lid and blitz again. Your sorbet should be uniform in texture.
- Taste. If your cherries aren't sweet enough, you may want to add a little squeeze of honey (but it's unlikely). If you want more tart and you have another lime, give it a squeeze, but be careful – the lime can quickly overpower the cherry flavor and you don't want that.
- Serve (almost) immediately. This sorbet tastes best 5 minutes after the blade stops spinning.