Author Notes: My neighbors have vines of concord grapes covering their driveway. Last year, I finally got up the guts to ask for a few bags of their harvest and turned them into this grape sorbet inspired by recipes in Gourmet and David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. I don't use an ice cream maker, rather I use an immersion blender every 1-2 hours while the mix is freezing to aerate the sorbet. This, plus the addition of alcohol - vodka in this case - makes for a smooth sorbet that doesn't freeze solid. If you want to make the sorbet alcohol free, replace the vodka with water.
The sorbet, as is (with vodka) retains its texture for a very long time - I discovered the last few scoops in the back of my freezer 9 months after making it, and there were no ice crystals! Still tasted amazing. - zahavah
Makes about 4 cups
- 2.5 cups concord grapes (measured after stems removed)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (probably one large lemon)
- In a non-reactive pot (I used hard-anonized), simmer, covered, the cleaned grapes with water until the grapes get soft. By this point, the smell of grape juice will entice you back to the kitchen. Give the grapes a stir a few times to loosen the skins. This whole process took about 20 minutes.
- Pour the grape concoction into a fine-mesh sieve in batches, and push juice out into a bowl beneath, leaving any stems and seeds behind. I used a wooden spoon to press out as much juice as I could. I ended up with about 2.5 cups of pure grape juice.
- Add sugar, vodka, and lemon juice to the grape juice and whir a few times with an immersion blender to dissolve the sugar. You’ll use the immersion blender again later.
- Pour the grape mix into a bowl, cake pan, or whatever you want and pop it into the freezer. The flatter the container, the quicker the sorbet will freeze. The more alcohol, the slower the sorbet will freeze. After about 2 hours, check on the sorbet. It should be about half frozen. Use the immersion blender to break up any icy bits. Return the sorbet to the freezer and repeat this every hour or so. If you forget and throw the sorbet in the freezer overnight, no problem – it will just take a few extra whirs with the blender to break up the solid mass the next morning.