5 Ingredients or Fewer

Roasted Cherry Sorbet

June 29, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 1 quart
Author Notes

If you’re a fan of cherries in frozen form, then go turn on your oven! The extra step of roasting pays huge dividends since it intensifies the flavor and color of the cherries. By all means use the best cherries you can lay your hands on, but I can attest that even imperfect cherries can be churned into a near-perfect sorbet if you follow this method.

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that by roasting your fruit, you can bypass the step of making a simple syrup. Just add the water to the roasting pan after the cherries have slackened and released their juices, and your oven will make a simple syrup for you.

Despite its simplicity, sorbet can be tricky to get right. Not all fruit sorbets need a simple syrup, but cherry benefits from the added water to thin out the fruit purée; otherwise you’ll get a thick, jammy texture. Also, don’t be tempted to dial back on the sugar because you’ll risk a harder, icier sorbet. That’s the beauty of the lime juice in this recipe—you can balance the sweetness to your personal taste. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: EmilyC is an environmental scientist and a killer home cook.
WHAT: Roasted fruit amps up cherry sorbet in a big way.
HOW: Make your whole house smell good by roasting cherries with sugar until syrupy. Then blend them with lime juice, churn like ice cream, and freeze until firm.
WHY WE LOVE IT: EmilyC won't let you down after the work of pitting 2 pounds of cherries. Roasting the fruit makes for an deep cherry flavor (and color!). A scoop would be right at home in a glass of bubbly on a hot summer day, too. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds fresh sweet cherries (such as Bing), stemmed and pitted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Generous pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a 9-x-13-inch roasting pan with sides, mix the pitted cherries with the cup of sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Toss well to evenly coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the fruit has softened and its juices are bubbling and starting to thicken. Add the water, then roast for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the juices start to bubble again. This step essentially creates a simple syrup in the pan. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer the cherries and all accumulated juices into the jar of a blender, and blend well. Add lime juice to taste. Keep in mind that the freezer dulls sweet flavors, so aim for a base that tastes slightly too sweet before churning. You should have about 4 cups of purée.
  4. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing gently down on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Scrape the underside of your strainer to get all of the purée. Straining is optional, though I find it worthwhile to get a smooth, velvety sorbet.
  5. Cover and chill the purée until very cold, at least one hour or overnight.
  6. Pour the chilled base into the ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer directions, or until the sorbet is thick.
  7. Transfer the sorbet into a freezer-safe container, and press plastic wrap against the top to prevent ice crystals from forming. It should keep well for up to a month.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laurie
  • gingerroot
  • Shelley Matheis
    Shelley Matheis
  • Rose Orbison
    Rose Orbison
  • cookinginvictoria

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

31 Reviews

Moni June 19, 2024
Hello there! I tried to make this and had different results. My 2 pounds of cherries yielded only 3.5 cups and the sorbet never really solidified in the ice cream maker and not after freezing it for over 8 hours. It's part sorbet/part gloopy and also too sweet. I imagine if it solidified more, it would cut the sweet a bit as the recipe says. I did really love the flavor of the roasted cherries and wonder where I went wrong.
ErikinCA July 4, 2021
Also wondering if this can be made without an ice cream machine or what can be used in place of an ice cream machine :)
Beth W. May 31, 2021
This recipe was easy to follow and the flavor was wonderful, but I had one issue. I checked the cherries about halfway through roasting and the cherry-sugar mixture had bubbled up in mounds above the top of the 9 x 13 roasting pan and was about to spill over onto my clean oven! I pulled it out and slid a jelly roll pan under it and put it back in for the remainder of the time. When I went to make the puree so much of the cherry mixture was stuck top the sides of the pan that I only ended up with 3 cups of puree. Did I do something wrong? I felt like I should have replaced the liquid that I lost before I churned it, but thank heavens it tasted great anyway.
Lynne August 20, 2020
Absolutely delicious!!! Roasting brings so much depth of flavor. One of the best desserts that cries out “Summer!!!!”
Linda June 25, 2018
Loooove cherries! Could this be make without an ice cream maker? Thanks
cosmiccook July 19, 2017
So would a liqueur in lieu of or combo of --water--maybe a cinnamon or other spiced water amp the flavor up even more? What about almond milk?
cosmiccook August 17, 2016
Sorry I meant author's notes about frozen cherries! Not enough coffee yet
EmilyC August 17, 2016
Hi there -- in my headnote, when I wrote "if you're a fan of cherries in frozen form," I meant cherry ice cream, sorbet, etc. Sorry for the confusion! I've never used frozen cherries to make this sorbet. Like you, I think they'd work, though I'd suspect you'd want to add less water in Step 2. I suspect you could use a food mill with the fine strainer versus a blender, and while the texture of the sorbet might not be quite as smooth, I think it'd work fine.
cosmiccook August 17, 2016
Hi Emily, can't wait to try this recipe. Could you clarify about the cherries p lease? In your description paragraph you say use "frozen" cherries but the first step in your recipe says 2 pounds fresh sweet cherries (such as Bing), I while I expect you could use either frozen cherries tend to contain more water which could make a difference in the recipe. Also could you use a food mill with the fine strainer?
MtIdaho August 7, 2015
Could anyone tell me roughly what 2 lbs. of pitted cherries would measure out to? I have several bags of pitted cherries in the freezer, but I didn't weigh them before pitting... would love to try this recipe with them.
EmilyC August 7, 2015
4 cups of pitted cherries should be around 2 lbs!
Laurie August 4, 2015
Roasting seems to improve everything. Congrats—this recipe just may compel me to finally buy an ice cream maker!
EmilyC August 7, 2015
Thanks Laurie! : )
gingerroot July 27, 2015
Yipee! Congrats on being a finalist! I've made a similar sorbet without roasting the cherries and can imagine how amped up the cherry flavor must be. I also love your trick to make the simple syrup while roasting. Can't wait to try this.

EmilyC July 27, 2015
Thanks so much Jenny! I landed on the simple syrup trick after making a failed batch of roasted cherry-miso sorbet. The miso addition seemed like such a good idea. It was not. : )
Shelley M. July 26, 2015

I wonder if roasting the cherries would work well in other recipes, like cherry preserves.
EmilyC July 27, 2015
Shelley -- I think roasted cherry preserves is a fantastic idea! Last summer I made Amanda's roasted tomato jam and loved the technique. I'll bet it could be easily adapted for cherries. https://food52.com/recipes/23676-roasted-tomato-jam
Rose O. July 25, 2015
Emily this sorbet is awesome! Good luck..... it's a winner in our book!
EmilyC July 26, 2015
Thanks so much for the kind words, Rose!
cookinginvictoria July 23, 2015
I know what I am making now with all of the PNW cherries in my fridge. :) Congrats, Emily -- this sorbet sounds amazing!!
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Thanks civ! Lucky, lucky you to have so many cherries! Let me know what you think if you give this a try.
Midge July 23, 2015
YUM. Congrats Emily!
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Thanks Midge!
drbabs July 23, 2015
I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that it would be a finalist. Congratulations!!
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Aww, thanks drbabs! : )
ChefJune July 23, 2015
Sounds so refreshing and delicious. I want to hurry up and make a batch while cherries are still around. Congratulations!
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Thank you ChefJune! I need to hurry up and make some again soon, too! There are still beautiful cherries at my local market in VA.
anka July 23, 2015

Magnificent sorbet, my absolute favorite. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Thank you!!
QueenSashy July 23, 2015
I love cherries, and this looks like a little piece of frozen heaven! Congrats on the finals!!!
EmilyC July 24, 2015
Thanks QueenSashy!