Lemon sorbet

Time saver: Phil cleanses your palate, and proves he doesn’t own an ice cream maker.

I used to make this all the time, until I started feeling guilty about all the sugar in it. Whatever, it’s delicous and surprisingly easy to make…

Lemon sorbet

If well beaten, this recipe makes just shy of 1 litre.

  • 2 c water (use filtered/bottled water if the tap water is chlorinated)
  • 1½ c caster sugar (plain white sugar also fine)
  • 1 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 6-8 lemons, more if they’re small)
  • (optional) zest of 1 or 2 of the lemons
  • (optional) 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Put water and sugar in a small saucepan, and heat on hot element, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. If using zest, add this to the saucepan too.
  2. Let it come to the boil, and simmer for a minute or two, then remove from the heat.
  3. While the syrup cools, juice the lemons. You want around 1 c of juice, but if you’re a bit over/under don’t worry too much. Add juice to the saucepan of syrup and mix well.
  4. Pour the syrup into a freezer proof bowl – I normally just use an old 2 litre ice cream container. If you’re using zest, you could strain some or all of it out at this point.
  5. Put the bowl in the freezer. Come back in a couple of hours time, retrieve the bowl and beat with electric beaters. You can also use a stick mix quite successfully – and this will work better than beaters if you’ve over-freezed it. After beating, put it back in the freezer.
  6. Repeat the beating process a couple more times, with 30 minute to an hour long intervals, depending on your freezer. Over this time the syrup should transform to slush and then sorbet. If I’m making it overnight, I’ll generally beat it a couple of times at night, and then return in the morning, using the stick mix if it’s too frozen. (Being ice you can always just leave it out for a few minutes to melt if it’s too hard to beat.) The more you beat it, the lighter the sorbet.
  7. Lots of recipes would now have you beat an egg white through the sorbet. Doing so will make it smoother, airier and add body. It’ll also mean you have raw egg white in your sorbet, it takes all sorts.
  8. Serve in chilled glasses. For the degustation I used chilled 40ml shot glasses. If you’re serving it as the main dessert, chilled martini glasses work very well and look the business.

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