Concord Grape Sorbet


03 Nov Concord Grape Sorbet

Concord Grape Sorbet by The Messy Baker

The comments are rolling in in response to the cookbook give away. Your fabulous ideas make me want to rent a delightful, impractically located venue and throw a great big bash. (If you missed the post, Rose Murray’s wonderful A Taste of Canada is up for grabs. To enter the draw, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me how I should celebrate the new blog.)

Riding the wave of your enthusiasm, I’m thumbing my nose at the cold weather and posting a very special frozen dish — Concord Grape Sorbet. Ever since I read how chef Johnny Iuzzini used his T-shirt and a broom handle to make Concord grape sorbet, I’ve been dying to try this dessert. But two weeks ago I was told the grapes were done until next fall. Then, by some small, unexplained miracle I dare not question, Peach Lady had four baskets of these purple beauties at her stall on Saturday. I bought two.

One sits in the freezer, waiting for a special occasion. How will I use this precious stash? I might use it to make a Concord Grape Pie, or more Concord Grape and Nectarine Butter. I might just eat them as frozen little balls of delight.

The other I transformed into this sorbet. Despite the Iuzzini anecdote, The Flavor Bible provided no recipe and suggested the best flavour combination for Concord grapes involved honey. So I sweetened the sorbet with a hint of honey and used Drambuie, a honey and scotch flavoured liqueur, to keep the sorbet soft.

The results? Intense and spectacular.

Concord Grape Sorbet by The Messy Baker

Even the cat liked it.

While I was setting up the shot, a little orange face entered the frame and started licking one of the scoops. Not sure “Cat-Approved” is going to sell this dish, but if you like the full-on flavour of Concord grapes, this sorbet remains true to the fruit. It’s not a sweet dessert, but more of a tart, intriguing after-dinner palate cleanser. It would go beautifully with a cheese platter if it didn’t melt so quickly.

So, do you like tart sorbets? Or are you a die-hard Orange Sherbet fan?

Concord Grape Sorbet by The Messy Baker

Concord Grape Sorbet
Recipe type: Ice Cream & Frozen Treats
Cuisine: Canadian
Serves: Makes about 4 cups (1 Litre)
With full-on Concord grape flavour, this sorbet remains true to the fruit. It's not a sweet dessert, but more of a tart, after-dinner palate cleanser.
  • 2 pounds Concord grapes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Drambuie
  1. Pop the grapes out of their skins and into a medium-sized non-reactive sauce pan.
  2. Place the skins in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. The finer the skins are chopped, the easier they will be to strain.
  3. Add skins to the pulp and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Cook until the grapes release their seeds.
  4. Remove the seeds by placing a fine mesh sieve over a non-reactive bowl and pressing the grape mixture through using the back of a large ladle. Discard the seeds. Stir in the honey and Drambuie.
  5. Chill the mixture until cold. About 20 minutes before you're ready to churn, place the sorbet in the freezer to get really cold.
  6. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. The sorbet may need to be returned to the freezer for a while to firm up.

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No Comments
  • Cheryl
    Posted at 13:26h, 03 November Reply

    Lovely. I am a sorbet fan, but I’ve got such a weakness for ice cream I don’t often make the lighter, fruitier stuff. But this has only 3 ingredients… not many recipes that can make that claim!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:24h, 09 November Reply

      How’d I miss this comment?

      Yup, only 3 ingredients. It really doesn’t need more. I love layered flavours but this is all about the grapes.

  • Katerina
    Posted at 20:01h, 03 November Reply

    I have never cooked with concord grapes before but your sorbet looks delicious, that colour is amazing!

    I am really digging your new look. I love how simple the design is. It really draws your focus to the pictures.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:39h, 04 November Reply

      I never really liked Concord grapes until I started baking with them. Now I’m addicted.

      Glad you like the new look of the site. I appreciate knowing what works and what doesn’t.

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 20:52h, 03 November Reply

    I’m with the cats. This looked so fantastic I wanted to lean forward and lick the monitor screen. I love the intensity of concord grapes and think this would be brilliant.
    Really you can call me at work any time to whip up the hill and taste test for you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:40h, 04 November Reply

      Come on up for a taste, Robin! There’s some left. And some pumpkin ice cream, too.

  • nina
    Posted at 06:28h, 04 November Reply

    “Intense” is the right word to describe this lovely sorbet….I love the vibrant color of the sorbet and your photos!!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:41h, 04 November Reply

      Intense also describes the stains the grapes leave on my ancient countertop and clothes. But it’s worth it.

      It really is a dark purple sorbet. I was pleased the colour turned up so well in the photos.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 08:57h, 04 November Reply

    Die-hard Orange Sherbert fan!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:42h, 04 November Reply

      Then I’ll have to make some for you this coming summer. I, too, love orange sherbet but have never tried a homemade version. My favourite combo is with chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

      Hope this means I get your share of the grape sorbet 😉

  • Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg
    Posted at 10:43h, 04 November Reply

    We, too, have wanted to make Concord Grape Sorbet, ever since Johnny Iuzzini (the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef at Jean Georges) shared that anecdote with us when we interviewed him for THE FLAVOR BIBLE — kudos to you for actually doing it! We just Twittered about this blog post at, to send other FLAVOR BIBLE lovers your way….

    Delicious wishes,
    Karen & Andrew

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:43h, 04 November Reply

      Thanks so much for the tweet. I love your book and wouldn’t have even thought of this dish without it.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 11:38h, 04 November Reply

    Wait … where’s the picture of the cat sneaking a lick?! 😉

    The sorbet looks fabulous, Charmian! The color is gorgeous and so intense you can practically taste it just by looking. Here’s to thumbing your nose at the cooler temps … like it, I do!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:44h, 04 November Reply

      There’s no cat picture because I was so surprised I yelled “Hey! Get out!” before I realized I blew a great photo opp.

      Live and learn.

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