Cranberry ice

November 25th, 2010 § 7 comments

After my post yesterday about missing loved ones at the Thanksgiving table, many people were intrigued by the Adams family tradition of Cranberry Ice. I, too, had never heard of it prior to meeting Barbara. Once you’ve had it, it easily becomes a regular addition to your table. I am sharing it here so that others may decide to fold it into their holiday celebrations, too (I think it is a lovely addition to Christmas dinner, so maybe you want to give it a try then).

The way we serve it is as a side dish, in place of cranberry sauce. The tart, sweet, cool flavor is delightful.

I like to make a double recipe so there are leftovers… I am giving the instructions for that; if you want to halve it, you may. Because you need to beat it with a mixer as it freezes, don’t make it late at night.

You will need:

2 bags of fresh cranberries

2 packets Knox gelatin

Lemon juice

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of water

Freezer-safe bowl and a food mill, ricer, or strainer


Boil the cranberries fully until the skins fully split. Drain the cranberries and run them through a ricer, food mill, or strainer to remove the skins. (I use a food mill that Barbara gave me. It has a hand crank on the top and you turn it around and around and the skinned cranberry puree drops out the bottom. A more updated version is here). Once you have all of the cranberry puree in a freezer-safe bowl, set aside. Take the 2 packets of gelatin and dissolve in 2 cups of water. Add this to the cranberries. Add about 2 cups of sugar (less if you like it very tart). Then add a bit of lemon juice to taste.

Take the bowl and put it in the freezer. As it freezes, take it out a few times (2-3) and beat with electric beaters for about 30 seconds to fluff it up. This will keep the texture airier. If you don’t do this, the consistency will be far too dense and hard. Once frozen, serve with your meal using an ice cream scoop. It doesn’t melt immediately because of the gelatin. Barbara always served in lovely cut-glass footed bowls. I haven’t found ones I like yet, so mine was served in regular bowls today.

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§ 7 Responses to Cranberry ice"

  • avb says:

    This looks delicious. I want to make it for Christmas. I love when there’s meaning behind the food we share with others.

  • Marisa Birns says:

    Oh, it sounds easy and delicious. And thanks for showing us the food mill – think I will get it.

    Will make it for Christmas dinner. 🙂

  • OMG Lisa cooked! It looks delicious too! I may actually try this tomorrow as I will be cooking the 22 pound turkey that arrived the other day (I’d ordered it so early I forgot to cancel it when our plans changed).

  • JoAnn Kirk says:

    Thanks for posting this…I am going to make it at Christmas…my family will love knowing that it is Barbara’s recipe.


  • kim says:

    yummers, lisa, and thank you for sharing!

  • Karen Moore says:

    made it for Thanksgiving, always will remember my friend, Barbara

  • Grief can be such an unpredictable intruder. Just when you’ve had a wonderful day with your children and grandchildren, loving them so and basking in the family traditions, grief steps in to alter emotion. After a satisfying and better than ever family Thanksgiving Day Celebration, grief and sweetness together brought me to tears. My son-in-law was installing a new electrical fixture with Jill’s help. They had just set up an old video cassette player for me and I was feeling happy, grateful for the day and for the work my family members were doing for me. I popped in an old family video. There were my parents and grandparents celebrating my parents’ wedding, my first Christmas, and on and on including film clips of Chip playing football and tennis and wrestling with his friend George. I busied myself for several hours doing fairly unimportant tasks. Then, all of a sudden came a rush of tears. Jill knew. She asked, “Is it because of watching the old videos today?”

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