Blueberry Sorbet

UPDATE: We recently made a much better Blueberry Sorbet using wild Scottish Blaeberries.

Last May Big D took me to the Vintner Rooms in Leith for dinner with his mum… That could be interesting enough in itself, but what we’re talking about here is frozen dessert.When it came to the pudding course, I ordered “blueberry vacherin glacé with raspberry coulis”, which the italian guy told me meant blueberry sorbet. I had to see if it lived up to my own skills. While I patiently waited, the waiter prepared “crepes suzette” for Big D’s mother right at our table, slowly caramelizing sugar using a little bit of lemon over an open flame. Quite a little performance indeed. But my blueberry sorbet was yet to come…

Soon I was looking at a small purple cylinder on top of some crunchy meringue (apparently this is what makes it “vacherin”) with a decoration of raspberry sauce (the “coulis”). Suspiciously, I dipped my spoon into the delicate cylinder and lifted a taste to my lips…. A wonderful blueberry flavour in a deliciously smooth sorbet! I could have dispensed with all the extra-fancy-french bits (like the meringue, etc.), which didn’t really do it any favours, but I was suitably impressed.

Of course we intended to make a trip to the highlands in August to gather wild bilberries and make our own sorbet in the hills, but for some reason we never managed to do the trip.

Once the blueberry season was firmly ended, I happened upon this bottle of Blueberry cordial in Good Food.

I’m no expert in sorbet-making, so I thought it might be worth the experiment to see how concentrated juice could work out. So I’ve had this bottle in the cupboard for months, until tonight when we decided to make sorbet on a whim.

The recipe I created was:

  • 50cl bottle of Belvoir Farms Organic Blueberry Cordial (containing 230g sugar)
  • sugar syrup (350g sugar dissolved into 350ml water)
  • enough extra water to bring the density to 18º Baumé

After a good long crank in the wild west, we had it firm enough to eat.

The colour looked great, and the texture was pretty darn good.

But the flavour was kind of a let-down. Rather than that rich fresh blueberry taste I was striving for, it tasted more like… blueberry juice from concentrate. No real surprise really. I guess I just always expect miracles to happen in the White Mountain Freezer while we’re cranking… Lessons learned? Stick to the freshest ingredients, and maybe add some lemon juice to balance out the sweetness in a recipe like this.

So this August you’ll find us out in the hills making the perfect blueberry sorbet.


The next morning we found that our blueberry sorbet was much better on pancakes. Mmmmm!

Peter Gerard

Peter carried the hand-cranking ice cream tradition from his family in Missouri to Scotland and eventually to New York. He is now likely the biggest importer of White Mountain Freezers to Europe, having imported more than a dozen machines...

You may also like...

11 Responses

  1. laura says:

    Darling, how sad! I am disappointed for you that the sorbet didn’t live up to your expectations but cetainly enjoyed watching/seeing it. One question: why did you decide to use cordial? You love fresh flavours….

  2. laura says:

    One more comment. You talented You.

  3. Peter says:

    An experiment really… With the blueberry season over, I thought it would be interesting to try a juice concentrate and see how it worked for a sorbet.

  4. Nicholas says:

    looks good!

    those pancakes are making me hungry!

    when can we try ‘nettle sorbet’?

  5. Aunt Nancy* says:

    Love the new site and the whole idea. I feel like a proud mama since you’ve become the the number one ice cream guy in our family. Carry on and happy cranking!

  6. cole says:



  7. gus n julie says:

    we loved the chocolate it was sooo creamy
    hey who will chance upon this website by accident?, will there be a federation of flavour , a hand cranking renaissance i hope so ‘cos your ice cream is truly delicious

  8. julie says:

    ooh, i told my mama about the freezer and she sounded unimpressed, as she has her own tales of her childhood in persia when home cranked ice cream was a staple part of the menu any time a guest would visit and she and all the other kids would have a go cranking together

  9. Dad/Walt says:

    Great website! I want an invitation to blueberry trip inthe Highlands. How about adding an American translation for your recipes? Thanks for your efforts and sharing the triple motion doctrine.

  10. Tommy says:

    Any of that blueberry sorbet left?
    wouldn’t mind trying the nettle one either…
    actually just give me a call whenever you’re cranking up.
    This website is more than cool…it’s cold! (sorry someone had to say that)

  11. Aunt Nancy* says:

    Keep adding to this site, Peter!! I really like those old black and white photos of the granny making ice cream on the Old Russell Recipe page. My only whine is that right under the first photo, you mention Aunt Nancy. I just want to go on the record as saying… That is NOT me in the photo. I don’t wear glasses! Love to you from The Old Russells

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.