Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RECIPE: Concord Grape Sorbet

It's been a long time since I've posted a recipe here, but when I made this refreshing and fragrant sorbet the other day, I knew I had to share it. We usually get a generous bunch of concord grapes in our organic co-op every year when these incredibly aromatic and sweet grapes are in season locally--which is now.

Concord grapes are the origin of the classic grape flavor and scent that Americans will readily identify with classic purple grape beverages and grape candy. But trust me when I say this fat free, low calorie sorbet tastes better than any grape flavored treat you've ever had. It's the real deal

I came up with this recipe around this time last year when we got concord grapes in our co op, but at that time I had made the smallest batch of sorbet to serve only two people,because I had eaten most of the grapes before getting around to making the sorbet. This year, I made sure I ate only a few of the grapes and used the rest to make the sorbet.

A ice cream maker provides the best results for sorbet. I recommend the Cuisinart ICE-21 that sells for $49 on amazon. I have the older ICE-20 model, but they look to be essentially the same machine. If you don't have an ice cream maker and don't want to invest in one, you can make the sorbet by freezing the sorbet in a shallow glass baking dish and repeatedly mixing it with a fork every hour or so as it freezes, but finished sorbet won't be nearly as smooth as the batch made in the ice cream maker.

Concord Grape Sorbet
1 1/2 lbs. concord grapes
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vodka, optional

Remove grapes from stems and rinse. Combine grapes, water and sugar in a non-aluminium saucepan over medium heat.

Bring grape mixture to a gentle boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The grapes will break down and the liquid should be slightly thickened, like a thin syrup.

Remove grape mixture from heat and pour into a fine sieve that's resting over a large glass bowl. Gently stir grape mixture, pressing gently with a large spoon to extract as much liquid and "pulp" from the mixture.

It helps to occasionally scrape the thickened pulp that will accumulate on the bottom of the sieve into the bowl. Press the mixture until you can't extract another drop. You should be left with a clump of grape skin, small stems and seeds in the sieve and at least 2 cups of thickened grape "juice".

Add the vodka to the grape "juice" and stir gently. You can omit the vodka if desired. The vodka will help keep the sorbet smooth and not "icy". It works because alcohol lowers the freezing point of the mixture, so the sorbet doesn't quite turn to solid ice in your freezer.

Pour the grape mixture into the freezer container of your ice cream maker and process for 15-20 minutes, or until the sorbet is the consistency of soft serve ice cream or a thick, smooth apple sauce.

Spoon the sorbet into an airtight container that can accommodate the sorbet with minimum head room between the sorbet and the lid. Again, having as little air as possible in the container helps prevent the sorbet from forming ice crystals on the surface.

Freeze in your freezer for a couple of hours for best results. Consume within 3 days for best flavor and texture.

Enjoy! :)


  1. I have 2 grape vines in my yard...well 1 is my neighbor's that hangs over my side big time. That's how I get my figs too ; ) We have the same ice cream maker got mine @ Costco. Sounds like a good recipe, I still have to try that pomy recipe. I've got a boat load on my tree!

    By the way I'm commenting w/ my new iPad that hubby got me for my b'day : )


  2. Hi Paula!
    So funny how you acquire your local grapes and figs! I'm so jealous of all the fruit growing right in your backyard. You're so lucky!

    Happy Birthday to you!!! And what an awesome birthday gift! The iPad is loads of fun. We'll have to compare notes on iPad apps. I don't really have too many. Magazines look fantastic on the iPad --sometimes you can find a deal for a free ones. Enjoy! xo

  3. You need to send me some sorbet asap! LOL
    It looks so good! Maybe I could sweet talk my parents into get my an icecream machine.... mhhm

  4. Omg *drools*...

    It looks so good. Need machine. We already harvested the grapes from this year so it may have to wait. -_-;

    So good. *stares at pictures*

  5. That looks delicious! I may have to find some grapes soon. (Though right now am hooked on honeycrisp apples. *g*
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. Ahhh, love the new look. I think this is you, Christine :)

    and great recipe... I think I'll have to invest into an ice cream maker LOL.

  7. Alex, I think it would be grape soup by the time it got to you! Or maybe just a very sticky grape mess! LOL I love my ice cream maker. :)

    little_alys, I am going to try to do a different sorbet flavor every month. I am going to experiment with pear sorbet next. Maybe with maple syrup or vanilla. Not sure yet.

    Brandy, we've been getting Honeycrisp apples in our co op, too! They're delicious.

    nath, thanks! This layout is definitely more "me." :)

  8. I didn’t know that about the Concord Grapes (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Concord Grapes…). The only sorbet I know how to do is strawberry because I just take a bunch of frozen strawberries and put them on a blender with a bit of water and that’s pretty much it. I can’t get an ice cream maker because it would be the death of me but I really like this recipe (the vodka part in particular). It looks like it would be great for parties!

  9. Hi Brie!
    That's a great--and super easy way to make strawberry sorbet. You could always get an ice cream maker and just use it for sorbet and real frozen yogurt. You could also go heavy on the vodka in my sorbet recipe and make a concord grape martini slush.

  10. Don’t tempt me! If I get an ice cream maker believe me when I tell you that making healthy fruit sorbets would be the last thing I would use it for… Although now that you mention frozen yogurt… Nope, forget it, it’s a bad idea!

  11. Wow, this sounds delicious! Did you seriously come up with this on your own or did you have to look it up? I suck at making new things with my own mind...I can follow any receipe that someone else created but trying to create something myself just doesn't work. But this does sound yummy!


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