Inspired by mustikkakeitto, or Finnish blueberry soup, this easy-to-make Spiced Blueberry Sorbet is perfect on a hot summer's day. Updated recipe.

Spiced Blueberry Sorbet

Inspired by mustikkakeitto, or Finnish blueberry soup, Spiced Blueberry Sorbet tastes exactly like summer. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I’ve updated the recipe for a smoother sorbet that you’ll make on repeat.

Just like that

And just like that, spring became summer. Eighty-nine degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in Somerville on Saturday, and humid. I met up with an out-of-town friend I hadn’t seen since September in Davis Square. Both of us positively wilting, we had iced coffee, followed by a couple of spins through air-conditioned shops and a lunch of salads and cold beer. We drifted some more, catching up and laughing, and sitting where possible. We then had ice cream from JP Lick’s, and that absolutely hit the spot. Summer is made for ice cream (and sorbet).

A skill from last summer: making homemade ice cream and sorbet

Last summer, a bit bored, I decided to learn a new skill, and I bought an ice cream maker and a copy of  The Perfect Scoop. The fruits of my learning were most tasty ice creams and sorbets. One of my favorite frozen treats, though, did not come from the pages of the Perfect Scoop, but from an idea I had after making blueberry soup, or mustikkakeitto, as the Finns call it.

mustikkakeitto, simmering on the stove
Mustikkakeitto, simmering on the stove

Mustikkakeitto, or Finnish blueberry soup

Mustikkakeitto is a quick and easy dish to make, generally served cold. There’s a million different recipes for it, but I generally followed the one in Fire and Ice, a cookbook I’d picked up after my trip to Finland. I didn’t have it there, but I had enjoyed other fruit dishes there (especially ones with cloudberries!). My mom mentioned that her Finnish mother used to make fruit soups in the summer, so making this made me feel connected to my past, if not my specific travels.

Blueberries, spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, brightened with lemon, and sweetened with sugar, simmer on the stove for a few minutes, making your house smell like a blueberry pie made at Christmas. And yet mustikkakeitto tastes exactly like summer.

Spiced simple syrup, for Spiced Blueberry Sorbet
Spiced simple syrup, simmering

An idea

After making blueberry soup a couple of times and enjoying it immensely, I got to thinking about making it into a sorbet. I looked up a couple of berry sorbet recipes, most made with a simple syrup, so I decided to add the mustikkakeitto spices and the lemon to the sugar and water, before mixing it into the pureed blueberries and straining.

Spiced Blueberry Sorbet is perfect for days when you want to stick your head in the freezer

And behold, Spiced Blueberry Sorbet was born

I took a taste as I scooped the sorbet out of the ice cream maker, and it was good. Unique. I kept making it throughout the summer. Looking at the weekend weather forecast last week, I whipped some up and left the base to chill.

The only real secret to Spiced Blueberry Sorbet is to let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least twenty-four hours before churning. In general, ice creams and sorbets benefit from a long chill to allow the flavors to develop, but I also noticed that I liked mustikkakeitto a lot better the next day and the day after that.

Remember that it stains 

Otherwise, just remember to not wear your best clothes when making this, as it will stain whatever it touches.

Updated recipe

I’ve updated this recipe for Spiced Blueberry Sorbet to use a step that I learned in making other sorbets. If you add your chilled base to the blender for a few minutes before adding to your ice cream maker, you’ll get a smoother sorbet. I’ve also called for cardamom pods instead of ground cardamom, but you can substitute a pinch of ground if you do not have pods.

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Spiced Blueberry Sorbet

Spiced Blueberry Sorbet

This recipe is inspired by mustikkakeitto, or Finnish blueberry soup. It's incredibly simple to make, involving nothing more than an infused simple syrup, a blender, and an ice cream maker. However, there are a few hints. Do make sure to strain thoroughly. You will get much better results if you allow the base to chill in the fridge for at least a day in the refrigerator. And, finally, this stains everything it touches, so take care.
Update: Since writing this recipe, I've discovered a technique to get a smoother sorbet. Just before adding to your ice cream maker, blend on the whip setting for about 3 minutes. I've also updated the recipe to use cardamom pods.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Churning time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Finnish Inspired
Servings 2 pints

Equipment

  • Ice cream maker
  • 1 Fine mesh strainer

Ingredients
  

For the simple syrup (note that you will have extra—use it to make another batch!)

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods substitute a pinch of ground cardamom
  • A couple grates of nutmeg
  • One half a lemon, sliced in 1/4 inch thick

For the sorbet

  • 4 cups blueberries fresh or frozen. Wild blueberries are better, if you can get them
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions
 

For the spiced simple syrup

  • In a small saucepan, add all of the ingredients. Heat over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely. Remove the cinnamon stick and the lemon. Refrigerate. Keeps about one month. You'll have extra (make another batch!)
    1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 small cinnamon stick, 3 cardamom pods, A couple grates of nutmeg, One half a lemon, sliced in 1/4 inch thick

For the sorbet base

  • In a blender, combine the berries and the water. Puree to combine. Note that you might want to give it a little stir, especially if you are using frozen blueberries part way through. Stir in 1 cup of spiced simple syrup.
    4 cups blueberries, 1/3 cup water
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing on the blueberries to try and extract as much flavor as possible. You might want to strain it again to get rid of any trace of pulp (I tend not to do this). You’ll have about two cups of liquid
  • Refrigerate for at least eight hours, preferably a whole day. Letting this chill for a bit longer really allows the flavors to develop

To freeze the sorbet

  • Just before adding to your ice cream maker, blend on the whip setting for about 3 minutes. This will improve the texture of your sorbet
  • Freeze in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Transfer to containers and freeze in the deepest part of your freezer for at least four hours, preferably overnight, before serving

Video

Notes

As with many homemade sorbets and ice creams, this delicious sorbet is a bit on the soft side (it was a 90F/32C day when I filmed this, so I had to work fast!). 
To prevent too much melting, put everything you are going to work with/serve with in the freezer for a few minutes.
Keyword blueberries, blueberry, Blueberry Sorbet, blueberry soup, cardamom, cinnamon stick, lemon, mustikkakeitto, sorbet
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

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Looking for more frozen treats?

Check out the Recipes Roundup of Ice Creams, Sorbets, Popsicles & More! It continuously updates as new recipes get added, so it’s a great one to bookmark!

More Food & Travel!

This recipe for Spiced Blueberry Sorbet was inspired in part by my trip to Helsinki. Get more recipes inspired by travel, and find sumptuous culinary experiences while traveling in the Food & Travel hub from Wonder & Sundry!