Scooped: Sour Cherry and Lavender Sorbet


Let's talk sour cherries for a minute. They're only around for a short span of the year, and they're not the easiest to find fruit in the world, but for a dessert-maker, they're kind of magical. These puppies can take serious abuse. Unlike most summer fruit, they retain their character even when hit by sugar and heat. Cook a ripe peach with sugar even for a few minutes and you'll get something that tastes like it came from a can. Not so with sour cherries.

The baby stone fruits are fabulously tart, almost rhubarb-like in their complexity. And they make a ridiculously good sorbet; even when blitzed with plenty of sugar, sour cherries stay tart and refreshing. Add a little lavender and maraschino liqueur to contribute some floral musk and you have a flavor far more intense than those four ingredients would suggest. Okay, five: I add a touch of lime juice because I can't have puréed cherries without thinking of a cherry lime rickey. But still, this is a dump-and-blend dessert that's way more than worth the effort.

Because there's no added water to dilute the base, the sorbet will remain soft and scoopable even after days in deep chill. It is a tart one, though, more suited to palate cleansing than snuggling a sweet tooth. If you're looking for more involved serving options, consider the toppings Ethan uses on his raspberry sorbet—goat cheese and walnuts—to lend some body. Or whip up a batch of lime-spritzed syrup, splash in some seltzer, and crown with a scoop of sorbet for the best cherry lime rickey float you've ever had.

Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world (30 countries, 5 continents) and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.

Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries.You can follow his exotic spice- and ice cream-based ramblings on Twitter.