Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lemon Sorbet

I love dairy and always have. However, I do have a touch of lactose intolerance, but typically just deal with the unpleasant side effects. That being said, though milk & cheese don't bother me too badly (and yogurt is fine), ice cream is pretty rough on me. Thankfully, I love sorbet, which is dairy-free as well as fat-free. 

Sorbet is simply a frozen dish of fruit and sugar syrup that is often confused with sherbet, which DOES contain some dairy, and has a creamier texture than sorbet. Since less air is whipped into the sorbet, it has a dense, icy texture compared to the lighter, fluffier textures of custard-based ice creams and frozen yogurts. It's incredibly simple to make, and much cheaper than buying it in stores. 

I used to work at an ice cream parlor years ago; we made our own ice creams, yogurts and sorbets in house. Now, I can make small batches of sorbet whenever I desire, according to whatever fruits are in season. The only caveat is that you MUST chill the sugar syrup completely, and your ice cream canister has to be completely frozen. So, if you want to make sorbet, you need to consider this. I like to make my syrup at night and chill it while freezing my canister overnight. In the morning, everything is ready to go. 

If you are REALLY in a hurry, you can speed up the chilling process by chilling your juice & sugar syrup in an ice bath in the fridge. 

Lemon Sorbet
2 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
2 lemons
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

In a medium saucepan, combine ½ cup water and sugar. Zest 2 lemons and add directly to sugar and water mixture. Heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add remaining 2 cups water, then chill completely.

Note: Always zest ALL of your lemons when juicing, even if you don't need the zest at the moment; it stores beautifully in the freezer.  

Meanwhile, juice lemons, straining out any seeds or pulp. Chill completely. 

Stir lemon juice into chilled sugar syrup, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. For my maker, this takes about 25-30 minutes. The sorbet will have a gelato/Italian ice consistency. 

Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover surface with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm if desired. Let soften slightly before serving. 


  1. Oh my goodness...YUM! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and I am really going to have to try this one!! Thanks Julia!!

  2. It's SO easy, Cindy! You can do the same recipe with any other citrus too (limes, grapefruit, oranges, etc).

    PS: I got my ice cream maker at the TJ Maxx in Trussville; it was MUCH cheaper than online :)