“The best early summer dessert is simply a giant bowl of cherries.”

So says Chef David Tanis. But I have to disagree. For my money, the best summer dessert is a giant bowl of sorbet made from those cherries.

This is the simplest sorbet I’ve ever made: Whip up a syrup in the microwave; pulverize a bunch of cherries with that syrup, some citrus juice and a few tablespoons of booze, then throw the mixture in an ice cream maker for 30 minutes. It emerges tart (thanks, citrus), sweet (thank you, sugar and fruit) and creamy (cheers, liqueur). The essence of summer … right in one bowl.

Alas, cherry season is coming to an end. But I plan on using this recipe with all the fruits of summer, mixing and matching different citrus juices and liqueurs.

Just imagine it: Peach sorbet, plum sorbet, blueberry and apricot sorbet.

Yes, fruit bowls are lovely. But with all respect to Chef Tanis, the best dessert of summer is a fruit sorbet.

Cherry Sorbet (adapted from “Cooking Light” magazine)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups halved and pitted cherries
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau, Triple Sec or any other orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Combine the sugar and water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved, then cool to room temperature.

When the sugar syrup is cool, place it in a blender along with the cherries, liqueur and lime juice. Puree for 1 minute.

cherries in blender

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process for 30 minutes.

Transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for at least four hours before serving.