More frozen stuff? Can you tell that I am still excited about my new ice-cream machine? You’d be right.
Today, it’s lemon time. Everyone has that one flavour they love and almost always choose when given a choice (at least in the summer). You might flirt with other flavours from time to time, but you always come back to that favourite. For me, I adore lemon sorbet. I like it to be fresh and zingy, sour, tart and lip-smackingly lemony. I have tried lemon ice-cream, but I always find it a bit of a poor substitute for sorbet. Lemon juice lends itself to cleanness and freshness, which is dulled when you try to make it using cream or milk. I could see how you could make a frozen lemon yoghurt, but if you’re after something sharp, sorbet is so simple and ticks all the boxes. Any now I can make my own!
In this recipe, I wanted the flavour of the lemons to really come out. I got hold of some beautiful fresh lemons, and started off by zesting them into a saucepan – the idea was that this would get the zest as well as some of their essential oils. I infused the zest with the sugar syrup, allowed it to steep, then added the lemon juice at the end. I also tried to decrease the amount of sugar – this amount of liquid would usually take 500g sugar, but I managed to get it down successfully to 350g. Sweet, but not too sweet.
I think using the lemon zest made a real difference – the syrup took on a light yellow colour, and there was a definite additional sharpness rather than just the tartness of the lemon. In the end, the colour did not really impact on the final result – it was a snowy white colour, but the stong taste of lemon was clearly there. All in all, I was really happy with this.
I love this sorbet as it is, but if you are looking for ways to jazz it up, you can try adding a handful of another aromatic herb to the hot syrup – mint, verbena, rosemary…or take the boozy route and top off with a shot of ice-cold limoncello or vodka.
For 1 litre of lemon sorbet:
• 250ml lemon juice
• 300g white sugar
• 1 teaspoon liquid glucose
• 750ml water
Grate the zest of each lemon into a saucepan. Extract the juice and keep it in a separate bowl. Keep going until you have 250ml of lemon juice.
Add the sugar, water and glucose to the saucepan, and slowly bring to the boil. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice, stir well, cover and allow to cool.
Strain the cooled mixture to remove the peel. Freeze the sorbet in an ice-cream machine.
Worth making? This sorbet is incredibly easy – if you are in a rush, or prefer a milder lemon flavour, you can omit the zest, and just combine sugar, water and lemon juice. I know this is getting repetitive, but I will also be making a lot more of this over the summer!