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Recipe for cranberry-pear sorbet

Cranberry-pear sorbet
Cranberry-pear sorbetSally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Makes about 1 quart

A subtle pear essence underlies the tangy cranberry flavor in this stunning-looking dessert. The cranberries don’t overpower the pears, and the color is spectacular. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you’re not out of luck.

1orange
Water
2cups (8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
3ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into large dice
cups sugar
¼cup light corn syrup

1. With a vegetable peeler, remove 3 wide strips of orange rind from the orange. Halve the orange and extract the juice. Pour it into a measuring cup and add enough water to measure 1½ cups.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the orange juice and water mixture, the orange rind, 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.

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3. Remove the orange rind. In a food processor, puree half the cranberry-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. Alternately, refrigerate overnight.

5. If you have an ice cream maker: Pour the sorbet mix into a frozen bowl and churn until it has the consistency of 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.

6. If you don’t have an ice cream maker: Once 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. Sally Pasley Vargas


Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at sally.p.vargas@gmail.com.