A refreshing sorbet can be one of summer's greatest delights. Yanking the ice cream maker out of storage, playing freezer Tetris to make room for the bowl, and waiting hours for it to chill? Not so delightful. But it doesn't have to be that way. Thanks to a technique we've learned from Jeni Britton Bauer, frozen dessert whiz and founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, we can just reach for our food processors.
To make food-processor sorbet, start with granita: pour your base into a shallow baking dish and place it in the freezer. As the mixture crystallizes, rake with it a fork to break up the ice. (The pros call this still-freezing.) When it's completely frozen, transfer the granita to a food processor and blend until smooth. In the words of Bauer, "This will yield an exceptionally smooth sorbet."
Indeed it does, and with minimal effort. When I test drove Bauer's method at home, I could comfortably slide a gratin dish into my freezer (which I share with three roommates), and freezing the base only took a few hours. Now, when I'm at the market, I find myself imagining that every stone fruit, berry, or melon is destined to be pulverized into silky sorbet.
If you want to take a crack at food-processor sorbet at home, try this recipe for Cantaloupe and Sun Tea Sorbet from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. You can also buy the flavor directly from Jeni's online.