cherry apple sherbet

It’s finally seasonable up here in Maine. Oppressively hot, according to the radio. Summer, according to me. I think it’s about time we get some heat. The plants in my garden are devouring the hot weather, as well as boatloads of water. Peppers are turning orange, peas are on the vine, and tomatoes are well on their way to knowing greatness.

I recently had some cherries that also wanted to know greatness, though they were sadly wending their way towards the compost pile instead. Summertime means cherry dessert time, and rather than letting the cherries waste away forgotten, I decided to incorporate them into a frozen treat. Using the cherries, an apple, and some lemon zest and juice, I created a rustic sherbet of sorts.

Shur-burt, you say? Wrong Bert, say I. Sherbet differs from sorbet in that it contains a bit of dairy. Supposedly, it must have a milkfat content between 1 and 2% to be considered sherbet; anything greater than 10% is ice cream, while the nebulous 2-10 percenters are “frozen dairy desserts.” Whatever Bert, say I.


Sorbets and sherbets are often labeled as ‘palate cleansers,’ and sure enough, this is a refreshing dessert that is perfect for a hot summery evening.

With so much heat in the air, we took to the mountains of western Maine over the weekend. I swam in a magical sparkly river filled with pieces of mica, lounged in a hammock-like catch net at the top of a closed-down chairlift, tried my hand(s) at riding down a real hill on my bike (and cried my way through it because it made me so nervous), and made a comeback by temporarily shedding my pansy skin and jumping off a short-to-all-others ledge into a deep pool of water.

To my credit, I was recovering from falling – flying, really – off of my bike last week. If I hadn’t been nervous, I wouldn’t have been… a mid-twenties cautious person who never did near-daring things in her life until recently.

Maybe one day I’ll shred with the bros.


This recipe is heavy-hitting on the lemon, and is also well-sweetened from the cherries and sugar; however, feel free to omit the lemon peel if desired. Cooking the mixture with a sprig of rosemary adds depth to the fruity flavor profile, but won’t taste overly herby once frozen.

This has texture, especially if pulsed in a food processor. And it is technically probably a frozen dairy dessert. But you can sherbet that it is a sure bet to me.

Cherry Apple Sherbet {original recipe}

Makes 4 small servings


10 oz cherries, washed and pitted
1 apple, peeled and shredded
1/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp water
Juice from 1/3rd of a lemon
Small piece of lemon peel
1 small sprig of rosemary
1/4 c. milk


Combine all ingredients except milk in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium low heat for twenty to thirty minutes. Stir occasionally, don’t allow mixture to stick to the pan. Remove rosemary.

In a blender, puree mixture. If you don’t possess a blender (like myself), pulse in a food processor – the end product will have some texture, which I like. Add milk and blend. Spoon into a container and freeze for several hours.




43 thoughts on “cherry apple sherbet

  1. Wow, I didn’t even know you could grow cherries in this climate.
    Yo! Life! What’s with the learning curve?!

    PS: Are you participating in any of the Potato Blossom Festival activities?

    1. No no no, not cherries from my yard. Cherries from the store – I misled you:) I wonder, though, if I could make a cherry tree grow well here in Presque Isle if I cared for it really well. It’d be close…

      We’re thinking of taking the cat to the pet show tomorrow night – – ??? Unfortunately, we’ll be out of town this coming weekend, but I’d consider heading over for anything through Thursday evening;)

  2. Looks like those are some serious mountain biking dudes you’re trying to keep up with there, kudos! Love the description of your weekend, made me feel just for a moment like I was there. Hope your recovery is swift and your confidence increased by the fact that you got through it!

    1. Oh, well, uh, I don’t really know those dudes in the photo. They (and others) were pretty into outwardly gawking at me and my friend… but I suppose when one goes up a mountain dressed in a skirt and flip flops, one doesn’t inspire much confidence in her outdoorsy abilities. I’ve got them though, I swear!

      I’m feeling much better, thank you. I landed on my back, so I had a few stiff days for sure. But my confidence wasn’t swayed toooooo much.

      Hey, it’d be neat if you actually were here! Come on over :D

      1. Mountain biking in a skirt and thongs, no, wait, flip flops :) … that makes it even more impressive!

        Owy! But, as silly as it may seem, flat on your back is one of the better ways to go down – The Sparky has metal in both his wrists from going straight down on his hands (on two separate occasions).

        If it wasn’t for nasty things like logistics and reality I’d be on a plane tonight! Even better, one of those magical unicorns Hannah keeps on about but doesn’t seem to want to share ;)

        1. Naw, on the day that I biked I dressed like a normal biker lady! But on Sunday when we rode up the chairlift we just hiked about (and tried not to get hit by high speed bikes!) while the men folk did their thing.

          I do worry about breaking my hands sometimes, because my instincts seem to be rather poor as far as how I land. But I landed on my back pretty hard, and knocked the wind out of myself. I wasn’t able to move for a long enough time that I was pretty worried that something much worse had happened to me:/ Luckily, I was able to get up after a few minutes.

          Yes – I think Hannah has some sort of lucky connection with the magical side of life that we are not privy to. I’ve never seen a unicorn myself, although I’ve surely read enough fantasy novels to merit one showing up at my doorstep!

  3. It’s taken me a fair few minutes to get over the disappointment that resulted from finding that your sorbet was not, in fact, made from a magical new-to-me fruit called the “cherry apple”, but now that I’m back to my prior happy state, I say hurrah! Hurrah for daring (as long as they’re not *too* dangerous) leaps into sparkling new waters below, and hurrah for sunshine and happiness!

    1. Ah, so sorry to disappoint. If only I were spending my days breeding a new hybrid fruit…

      Hurrah! Daring only to me, I’m afraid. Maybe it’s just because I’m a poor swimmer that I was nervous… this is only the second time I’ve catapulted myself into water from any significant height, though (the first was last summer in Georgia, which was made the more scary by the potential of poisonous snakes!). Sunshine and happiness!

  4. You are so cool. There’s the biking. Leaping off ledges. The use of the phrase “shred with the bros.” And the eating of/photographing sherbet outdoors (with bugs and stuff).

    I have a big bowl of cherries in the fridge. I’m thinking some sherbet is in order…

    1. Thanks movita. I think these actions define me more as a badass than cool, but I’ll take the compliment and respond with a laidback “Chyeeeahhhhh, niiiiice, duuuuude.”

      I hope there were no bugs in my pictures:( There was a spruce needle though, boo! I mostly just have really poor natural light in my house and no lightbox…. sad.

      Mmm, big bowl of cherries! Sure bet!

    1. I want to swim in the magical river again:) It was such a fleeting sparkly memory, it’s almost like it never happened!

      Luckily, we’ll be going back. Hopefully, it will be as hot next time around as it was last weekend;)

  5. I fell off my bike once in 4th grade pretending to shred with the boys. Now, I ride like a granny on the side walk. You rock for even trying. This sherbet looks so beautiful. I think that flavor combo is perfect. I need to hoard some cherries to try and make something like this.

    1. I love that you remember that it was 4th grade when you fell off your bike. Not 3rd, not 5th. There is no chance that I could remember the specific year of something like that – good for you! I think I may have taken a few more spills in my youth than you…

      This sherbet was lovely – I would have enjoyed a straight cherry sorbet, but I didn’t have nearly enough cherries to make it worth my while;)

  6. Koooal–your “mountain information” sign looks like you are in the Alps! Loving the outdoorsy shots, I enjoy seeing a little of what you see:D
    I wonder what your cherry stuff would be like with Raniers? Pricey, but sooo good! If I try it, I’ll let you know…

    1. Aww, I miss the Alps! I’m loving the outdoorsy-ness of my life, but the pictures come in a close second:) I’m so glad I get to share them with you.

      How I wish I could afford some of those little sweetheart Rainiers. Not to worry, though, I haven’t even seen them for sale here. If you do get some, I’d consider making a straight sorbet (none of this apple business!), to better appreciate their loveliness. Mmmmmmmm:)

      1. That’s a good tip. We’ve got a good supply at the co-op at $6.99/lb. They have been very good(and so very beautiful). I will do it!! Do you think that another half pound could take the place of the quantity of apple?

    1. What a charmed life you live up there in Maine. We drove to the Grand Canyon and back and it was great just to drive out of the heavy humidity down here. And…I didn’t know that difference b/w sherbert ‘or bert’ and sorbet. Huh. Learn something new every single day out here in blogland…

      1. I bet the Grand Canyon was lovely! I’ve been there once, but it was very brief, and all I remember is the sea of Japanese tourists I had to fight through to see scenic views. I’d like to get back and do some serious exploring!

        I can’t even fathom the amount of humidity you must fight through every day down there. Sheesh!

  7. I’m actually not a big sherbet fan (prefer creamy ice desserts like gelato) but that color is gorgeous. Cherry apple sounds like a wonderful combination. I was basically cooked by the sun today, so that looks so perfect right now…

    1. I can’t say I’ve eaten sherbet more than a handful of times in my life. I always go for ice cream or gelato too. But there’s something about a refreshing icy fruit treat in the summer time….

      Don’t get too sizzled by the sun! :P

  8. Bah! Sounds like I need to open my mind again to more non-chocolate recipes! :D I know what you mean about oppressive heat, though, and understand that something light and sweet can be far more appetizing than a big hunk of chocolate. I know that I LOVE running in 95 degree heat with 70% humidity. Mmm….

    Love the touch of rosemary, btw…how classy!

    1. When it’s oppressively hot, I sometimes have a hard time wanting to eat much of the chocolatey persuasion, so yes, I turn to those things non-chocolate. Ack, running in 95 degree heat! Ack ack, 70% humidity! You have it rough down there…

  9. Emma, cherries from the garden? Yes please.
    I’ve been in sherbet, sorbet, granita land around here. I have to say I get frustrated by the labels. I wanna eat my yummy frozen stuff and call it whatever I please. Sherbert for me;)

    1. Mmm, I don’t care what it’s called either, I just want to eat it up!

      Wish I could grow my own cherries – that would be a dream come true:)


  10. The sorbet looks so refreshing. I love the diversity of this post as well. Downhill mountain biking and homemade deserts a delicious combination.

    1. Now to try downhilling again and make it down the mountain without crying, or falling, or bleeding! Good thing desserts are always there to comfort me;)

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