Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cherry balsamic sorbet

Since we started talking about cherries with this sourdough cherry bruschetta with miso dressing the other day, let’s now go to the sweet side and to sorbet ice pops because it’s hot and we could all use an icy treat right about now, no?

I was so glad when I found calippo molds being sold at a store here in The Hague and of course I got a bunch of them. It’s so much fun eating ice cream out of these molds and it always reminds me of long vacations in the Greek islands or our summer house outside of Athens, where a Calippo ice cream would be the first thing I’d go for at the beach taverna/bar after a whole day swimming in the sea.

Cherry sorbet has long been a favorite of mine. I even shared a recipe for it in popsicle form some years ago here on the blog. This, however, is an evolution of that sorbet as I have omitted the fresh vanilla bean from the sugar syrup and opted to macerate the cherries in balsamic vinegar and some Demerara sugar in order to make it even more tempting and irresistible —because that’s exactly what this sorbet is to me, irresistible!

The flavor of this sorbet is clearly that of sweet dark cherries which is intensified by the balsamic vinegar that complements the fruit so well. The flavor of the vinegar is not overwhelming, but the quality of the balsamic is of utmost importance otherwise it can be too aggressive and acidic like most pour quality vinegars are. Real balsamic vinegar is made with wine vinegar and the addition of cooked grape-must which adds the sweetness, muskiness and depth of flavor that makes balsamic the great vinegar that it is.

Together with the freshness of the cherries and the sweetness of the sugar, this cherry-balsamic sorbet is the stuff summer dreams are made of. If you want to really savor the taste of cherries this summer, do try it; I guarantee you will be as excited about it as I am.

Cherry balsamic sorbet

Luckily, I am able to find Greek, sweet, dark cherries here in the Netherlands that are plump, juicy and oh so delicious, and they also make me feel closer to home. Make sure to use the best, sweetest and most flavorsome cherries you can find as nothing matters more than that in the outcome of this (or any other) sorbet. The cherries you use shouldn’t be tart at all otherwise the flavor balance will be off.

I used liquid glucose (which is an inverted sugar) in the syrup in order to avoid crystallization of the sugar, however, I have made this syrup before (as instructed in this sorbet recipe) without glucose and it works great; you just need to be a bit more vigilant when you make it without the glucose and follow the instructions.
Liquid glucose also controls the formation of ice crystals in frozen desserts which essentially prevents them from freezing solid (decreases the freezing point) which is another plus.
If you can’t find it, you could substitute with corn syrup, which is not exactly the same but acts almost the same way.

Yield: 7 popsicles (70 ml-capacity calippo molds)


for the sugar syrup
185 g granulated white sugar
85 g water
1 tsp liquid glucose (or corn syrup)

500-520 g fresh sweet dark cherries, rinsed and pitted
1½ Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
15 g Demerara sugar

Special equipment: large food processor (or blender), calippo ice cream molds or other popsicle molds


for the sugar syrup
in a small saucepan, add the sugar, water and glucose and heat over a medium heat, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves, then, bring to a simmer, and continue simmering over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and empty the sugar syrup into a bowl. Allow to cool completely and then put it in the fridge, covered with cling film, to chill.

In the meantime, place the pitted cherries in a medium-sized bowl together with the balsamic vinegar and the demerara sugar and mix well with a spoon. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Add the macerated cherries in your food processor (or in a blender) making sure to scrape all the juices and sugar from the bowl they macerated in and puree them. There will still be pieces of cherry skin visible which is absolutely fine and it’s what gives texture and flavor to the sorbet. Add the chilled syrup and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Pour the sorbet mixture into individual calippo or popsicle molds and place in the freezer overnight.

Alternatively, you could also churn this in an ice cream machine, empty it in a container suitable for the freezer and serve it scooped in individual bowls.


  1. Beautiful photos. This looks wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)