The Soup Blog
Recipes, Culinary Insights & Humor Spooned Up Fresh Every Week…………………(Now in its Ice Cream Phase)
Fallback: Apple Cider Sherbet
Categories: Apple, Dairy, Sherbet, Spices

Golden, Delicious

Daylight savings time was still a month from being over, and that was fine by me. I needed all the savings I could muster. Things had been a bit busy at the Soup Blog household of late with extra work and afterschool activities stretching each hour as thin as it could get.

I needed a break.

But rather than actually taking a week off from making ice cream, I went with the fallback plan I discovered a few weeks ago—sherbet. Since sherbet is not custard based, it requires little more than blending together juice, milk and flavoring. All you have to do then is freeze the stuff.

The coming of fall also meant that there was a whole host of flavors I could feature in this week’s recipe. At first I thought about cranberry, but that seemed more of a Thanksgiving thing. Pumpkin, which my youngest has been clamoring for for weeks, would work, but I wanted to save it for closer to Halloween. Then I thought about apple.

Harvest time. Bingo.

Of course, there were plenty of apple orchards in Southern California, but they’re all up in the hills and required several hours driving to get to. As a result, apple picking wasn’t really part of my consciousness until we came here. In all honesty, we’ve only gone apple picking once, and the experience was more like an autumnal theme park.  The obligatory corn maze was there, the pumpkin patch, the fall-themed face painting and, of course, apple picking.

One ticket got you a ride on a flatbed truck deep into the apple orchard with the little white paper bag you were allowed to fill with whatever kind of apple you could find. I learned about several new varietals that day including Honey Crisp (my current favorite), Shizuka and Ida Red. After growing up with little more than Macintoshes and Pippins (all but gone now, thank you Granny Smith), this shameless biodiversity felt almost excessive.

Tasty, though.

That week we drank cider,  ate apple crisps, pies and raw apples until we were just about sick of them. We did not, however, have any apple ice cream…

Until now.

(Did I say ice cream? I meant sherbet.)

I folded some apple cider together with milk, sugar and cinnamon and put together a new dessert that was both delicious and refreshing. Look out World Series, there’s a new Fall Classic in town.

Unfortunately, in all the goings on of the week, I neglected to put the ice cream cylinder into the freezer early enough. So when I went to freeze the sherbet, it didn’t get as solid as I would have liked. A few more hours in the freezer fixed that up well enough, but it wasn’t ideal. Especially considering the fact that I was also making batches of coffee ice cream for a church ice cream social/ice-cream-off.


Luckily, I had a few extra batches in the freezer, including last week’s Banana Fig recipe, so things turned out all right. My ice creams won the “best all-around” category and the coffee ice cream earned a “want more of that” prize.

If only I’d had the time to attend.

I’m hoping to get outside at last this weekend and enjoy some of this lovely fall weather. Perhaps even see some of the leaves change for myself. Unfortunately I’m heavily overbooked again.


At least I’ve got a fallback plan.

Apple Cider Sherbet
(about 2 quarts)
2 cups apple cider

⅔ cup sugar
½ t lemon juice

½ t cinnamon

1½ cups milk


  1. Blend all ingredients in a bowl and chill.
  2. Place bowl in your freezer until ice crystals start to form.
  3. Transfer the mixture into your ice cream freezer and freeze. (35 minutes did it for me.)
  4. Put the frozen sorbet into the freezer for a couple of hours to give it the chance to firm up.

When freezing ice cream, you need to use an ice cream freezer to ensure that a certain amount of air is mixed into the frozen cream. This gives it a lighter, less icy consistency. When freezing sorbet, you may also freeze it in a popsicle mold, a bowl or on a sheet pan. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally to limit the size of the ice particles. Larger chunks of ice make for granita, miniscule chunks make for a nice smooth sorbet (an ice cream freezer is ideal).

Photo Credit: “Leaf Relief,” the spectacular color show going on right now. Photo by author. 

We missed out on most of the fall fruit picking when I was younger. We never had apples, pears or anything like that in our yard. Instead we had Valencia oranges, plums, persimmons, apricots and avocadoes. Speaking of which, my friend Meg just made an Avocado ice cream for the Ice Cream Off. It won “most unusual.” What’s the most unusual ice cream you’ve ever had?

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