20 May 2010

Lemon sorbet

A number of years ago, I travelled in Italy with friends. We would eat four hour, multi-course dinners. At one place, they served a sorbetto di limone that was absolutely outstanding. Bright, and acidic, it cut through some of the grease of the pizza we'd had earlier. We asked for another round of sorbet. "No! One is enough!". They cut us off. Of sorbet. They were appalled that we wanted more.

So now I make it at home.

Living in southern California really has its advantages.  We were at our friends' home this weekend, helping them with their garage sale.  Mrs. Dude and I started talking about grocery shopping, and I told her I needed a dozen lemons to be able to make lemon sorbet.

"We have lemons in our backyard, if you want."

"You do???"

These lemons were beautiful.  Lumpy and assymetrical, with more spongy skin than the thick-skinned grocery store lemons, they all smelled incredible.  We took a dozen of them home, and when I opened the bag they were in, our whole kitchen smelled of lemons.  Look at them, they're beautiful!

Fresh lemons

These made an incredible sorbet.  I modified the recipe in David Lebovitz' The Perfect Scoop.  For 2 quarts of sorbet:
5 cups water
2 cups sugar
zest of 4 lemons
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (took 8 of these magical lemons, normally takes about 12)
2 tbsp vodka
Zest the four lemons.

Lemon zest

Then juice them, plus however many more you need to make the 2 cups of lemon juice.


Place the lemon juice in a non-reactive container in the fridge.  Meanwhile, combine the sugar, 2 cups of water and the lemon zest.  Heat over the stove, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Immediately add the cold water, cool to room temperature, add the vodka (the vodka keeps the sorbet from freezing too hard).


Chill in the fridge, 6-18 hours.

Mix the lemon juice and the zest syrup.  Run through a sieve, to remove the chunkies, and then run through your ice cream maker.

Ice cream maker

With the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment, it takes about 25 minutes of mixing to get a nice, soft sorbet.  Transfer to a container, and freeze overnight to solidify.

Lemon sorbet


This sorbet is awesome. It's not very sweet, and the acid from the lemons comes screaming through. These lemons are particularly nice (I've made this recipe with grocery store lemons, which are nice, but nothing like fresh lemons). And no one cuts me off if I go back for more.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Oh, lemon sorbet with fresh lemons. Looks so good!

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