Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Lemon (and Strawberry) Sherbet

After giving up on the internets providing me with an ideal recipe, I decided to just take what I had gathered and wing it. I am not displeased. I have sherbet that is sweet but not cloying, lemony but not too tart, and creamy but not heavy.

Here goes:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup organic lemon juice (from a bottle :O)
  • as little lemon oil as I can tip out of the bottle (lemon zest would be good here, but I was going for the "I don't have actual lemons version)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)

Optional addition:
  • Chopped hulled strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • about 1/4 cup vodka

If using the strawberries, it helps to be able to go ahead and plan ahead here. Mix the chopped strawberries with the sugar and allow the mixture to get all juicy in the fridge for a day or so. When it is time to make the sherbet, pour into a blender with the vodka and blend until processed enough to pour but still chunky. Refrigerate or freeze while putting the sherbet together (or wait until the sherbet mixture is back in the fridge--it will have a little more time to cool while the sherbet is mixing).

For the sherbet, whisk the sugar into the water until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and lemon oil. Whisk in the cream. When thoroughly mixed, return to refrigerator to chill (as much time as you can spare here will give you more solid results in the end).

Transfer the sherbet mixture to the bowl of an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Alternately, you can freeze the mixture in a pan, scraping it around after letting it set (over and over and over).

Just before it is time to remove the sherbet from the mixer, add the strawberry mixture. Exact timing is up to you, as you are the only one who knows exactly how mixed in you want those strawberries.

Right out of the mixer, you could probably serve it in a glass with a straw, but go ahead and transfer it to a container with a lid and freeze a couple of hours at least before you plan on scooping it out.