Jul 17, 2023 - Food and Drink

A recipe for Utah's heat wave survival sorbet

A scoop of sour cherry sorbet in a white bowl on a wrought-iron breakfast table with bricks and plants in the background.

A scoop of frozen glory holds its own in Sunday's heat. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

Fates have aligned such that the West's crushing heat wave arrived just in time for the secret Utah weapon you absolutely need to survive it:

  • Let's call it "Heat Wave Survival Sorbet."

You may not know that on Utah's produce map, Payson is cherry central — up there with Brigham City peaches, Bear Lake raspberries and Green River melons.

Driving the news: Multiple growers are harvesting their famous Montmorency sour cherries starting this week.

  • Search Google and call around for exact dates; Payson Fruit Growers and McMullin Orchards confirmed they'll have fresh and frozen pickings by the bucket starting Wednesday.

The intrigue: Montmorency cherries are almost exclusively used for pie filling — but that's not their highest expression, in my not-so-humble opinion.

  • Look instead to sour cherry sorbet to bring out the vibrant tang in a shockingly familiar way: It tastes exactly like the sour cherry flavor in candy — but like actual fruit.

Why it matters: This is one of the most gourmet desserts you could possibly make when it's too hot to summon energy.

The recipe: Play around, but mine starts with 4c cherries and 1c sugar, puréed.

  • I tossed in 2 tablespoons of Luxardo maraschino liqueur, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/2 a teaspoon almond extract for a second round of blending. But if you don't cook with liquor, it's fine to skip that.
  • Freeze in an ice cream machine; if you don't have one, freeze and stir twice at 3-hour intervals, then freeze overnight.

Be smart: The skins are fine in the sorbet, but consider straining after blending if you want to mix your scoops with a drink.

What's next: Highs are expected to hover around 100°F all week, per the National Weather Service. So get thee to Payson.


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