bourbon baked apple sorbet

Bourbon Baked Apple Sorbet

Since my sister and brother-in-law were driving all the way from Philadelphia to Boston just for Apple Day, I figured I may as well get the celebration started early and I decided the best way to do that was with a recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Jessica and Adam were the ones that first introduced me to her ice cream back in June, after all, and are huge fans. I was intrigued by Jeni’s Baked Apple Sorbet both because I don’t think I’ve ever seen an apple sorbet before and also because I was looking for something pretty easy.

Bourbon Baked Apple Sorbet

I knew I wouldn’t have time to make something the night they arrived, and the night before they arrived I was out at the America’s Test Kitchen launch party for their new Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. I could not possibly have been more excited to get that invite, so there was no way that I was going to peace out early just so I could go cook alone in my own kitchen. No, I had to live it up in the most impressive kitchen I have ever seen and chat with Julia Collin Davison (excuse the gushing, I’m a big dork and a huge fan). This sorbet was easy enough that I was able to go home after the party, throw the apples in the oven and whirl the mixture together in the blender and throw it in the fridge overnight to chill.

Bourbon Baked Apple Sorbet

The next day I rushed home from work, hugged Jessica and Adam hello, and ran to the kitchen to throw the mixture into the ice cream machine. I had decided to add bourbon, because, honestly, I figured nothing could possibly be better than a sorbet that has both a whole vanilla bean and bourbon. You know what? I wasn’t wrong. The alcohol content did make it take a little longer to freeze, but it was so worth it. It’s like a boozy apple pie in sorbet form. Want something familiar but a little different for Thanksgiving? Look no further. Heck, you could even serve it between courses as a palate cleanser (or just as an excuse to get some extra treats in the meal!)

Bourbon Baked Apple Sorbet

Yield: 1 quart

Bourbon Baked Apple Sorbet

Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

The bourbon is optional, but highly recommended. The sorbet also pairs very nicely with a glass of bourbon (surprise, surprise!).


  • 1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 6 medium tart apples (or 1 1/2 lbs), such as Granny Smith peeled, cored and quartered
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and bean reserved
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix first 6 ingredients (everything except the bourbon) in a 9×13 baking dish and toss to combine. Loosely cover with foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender; flipping the apple pieces halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool. Discard the vanilla bean.
  3. Puree the apple mixture in a blender (or in two batches in a food processor) until smooth. Force the puree through a sieve into a large bowl. Mix in the bourbon and pour strained apple mixture into a gallon size zip top bag. Either refrigerate the mixture for a few hours if you want to make it later, or if you want to make it sooner, fill a large bowl with ice and water and submerge sealed bag in ice bath until cold adding additional ice cubes if needed; about 30 minutes.
  4. Pour sorbet into ice cream maker and freeze until it has the consistency of very softly whipped cream. The alcohol content in the bourbon may make it take a little longer than usual to freeze. Transfer frozen sorbet to an airtight container, and top with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and freeze for at least four hours prior to serving.


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