Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Cranberry Ice (a holiday family tradition)

For as long as I can remember, Cranberry Ice has been the traditional dish that has always started a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal at my family’s holiday table.

cranberry ice

Not quite a sorbet, but not an ice cream either, this frozen, creamy and tart treat is meant to act as a palate cleanser before a huge meal. And, as my mom puts it, “it tends to shut the kids up” as the meal starts, and it generally keeps them pacified until the turkey and mashed potatoes are served. Imagine, starting dinner with dessert? That’s how we kids always looked at it, anyway.

making cranberry ice

Admittedly, there is nothing very tea foodie about this recipe. I thought about tampering with the recipe to add a tea element, but it’s so delicious as it is that I’m sharing the recipe in its original form, passed down through my mom’s family for years.

What are your unique holiday meal traditions?

Happy cooking and sipping!

Cranberry Ice (a holiday family tradition)

(A family recipe from Cheryl Klein.)

Makes about 3 quarts


4 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (about 16 ounces)

1 quart water

4 cups sugar

2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (2 tablespoons), dissolved in ½ cup of cold water

juice of 2 lemons

1 pint heavy whipping cream


1. Simmer the cranberries in the water until most of the cranberries have popped, about 5 to 7 minutes.

simmering cranberries until they pop

2. Run the cranberry and water mixture through a food mill that you’ve set over top a large mixing bowl to capture the juice and pulp.

running cranberries through food mill

3. Add the sugar, dissolved gelatin and lemon juice to the hot cranberry juice and pulp, and stir until everything is dissolved and well combined.

cranberry pulp, sugar and gelatin

4. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer for 6 to 8 hours, until it’s just barely frozen. It should be the consistency of semi-frozen jam.

whipped cream and semi-frozen cranberry pulp

5. Whip the heavy cream until you get stiff peaks, and then fold it into the barely frozen cranberry mixture. Transfer the mixture to several smaller containers, and freeze overnight, until solid.

mixing cream and cranberries3 quarts of cranberry ice

6. Serve a small scoop at the start of a meal, or in between courses, as a palate cleanser.

serving of cranberry ice


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About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

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