A delicious and decadent silky sorbet that is inspired by a nineteenth century Italian cookbook, Pellegrino Artusi's Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Note that Artusi's original recipe calls for sour cherries. If you have access to these delicious fresh sour cherries, you will need all of the sugar. If you are using sweet, dark cherries you may find using all of the sugar too sweet for your liking so adjust to taste, but do remember that the sugar in this recipe helps the sorbet have a soft consistency. Keep in mind that the less sugar you put in it, the 'icier' the consistency of the sorbet will be, a trait you will find it you allow the sorbet to sit for a few days in the freezer. If you are making this to eat on the same day, this won't be too much of a problem. If you're not making this vegan, a drizzle of fresh cream at the end (or softly whipped if you prefer) is wonderful, especially as it begins to mix in to the rest of the sorbet, I highly recommend it. —Emiko
Take a handful of the cherries, roughly chop them and place together in a small pan with the cinnamon stick and about 50 grams (1/4 cup) of the sugar and gently heat for about two minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries begin to cook slightly, creating a syrup. Take them off the heat and set aside to cool.
Blend the rest of the cherries in a food processor or with an immersion blender (or even a good old pestle and mortar -- a slightly messier, low tech option).
Place the blended cherries, the water and the rest of the sugar to taste (see note) in a saucepan and, stirring often, let the mixture come to the boil. Add the cinnamon stick from earlier and allow the mixture to boil for two minutes. Take off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and let cool, stir through the stewed cherries from step 1 (alternatively you can save them for later and serve them over the top of the sorbet like a sauce) then chill mixture completely in refrigerator.
If you have an ice cream maker, you can now place the cherry mixture into the ice cream maker until done. Without an ice cream maker, simply place the mixture into a plastic container with a lid in the freezer. When frozen, use a fork to loosen the sorbet (it will be quite soft). If not serving right away, place back in the freezer until needed -- note that this is best when made a few hours before serving. If you're making this days before you need to serve it, you may need to let it rest at room temperature to soften again slightly until the right consistency.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.