12 to 14 refresher servings, 8 dessert servings


1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries

4 cups water

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1¾ cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice


¼ cup fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Mint sprigs

1. Wash the cranberries in a colander under cold running water. Place them in a medium saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until they can be mashed easily against the side of the pan with a spoon.

2. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice.

3. Purée the cranberries and the cooking liquid in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Strain the cranberry mixture into a bowl, discarding the skins. Pour the mixture into 2 or 3 ice-cube trays. Freeze until solid.

4. Place a few cubes of cranberry ice into a food processor. Process until broken up, and continue processing while dropping cubes one at a time through the feed tube. (You will need to do this in batches.) As each batch becomes finely puréed and snowy, transfer to a bowl. Place in a freezer.

5. When all batches have been processed and sorbet has hardened somewhat, scoop into small dishes.

6. To garnish: Place the cranberries on a cake rack set over a baking sheet. Brush the cranberries lightly with water. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place on top of the sorbet. Cover loosely with foil and return to the freezer. Before serving, place a sprig of mint next to the cranberries. Serve with Christmas cookies.

Adapted by The Seattle Times in 1990 from “Marlene Sorosky’s Year-Round Holiday Cookbook.’’