February 17, 2010

Meyer Lemon Sorbet

I didn't know the difference between Sorbet and Sherbet when I made this ice cream, frankly I didn't care too much because the recipe sounded too good to pass up. Upon serving it to friends on Valentines Day, they asked, "What makes it a sorbet and not a sherbet?" We threw around our answers and then I googled it. (do you think google knew it would become a verb when they started? apparently they are concerned it will dilute the branding...) Answer. The difference is eggs. Sorbet has no eggs, Sherbet does. I'm sure you fanatical ice cream eaters already knew this, but just in case you were thinking the same thing....
This sorbet is the embodiment of summer. It is light and refreshing, and I managed not to explode after eating a scoop. Sometimes heavy ice creams make me feel this way = regret. The lemons I used came from the same batch I used to make Lemon Cake recently. It took a lot of lemons to make 1 C of lemon juice - and this is no time to substitute with "fresh squeezed bottled juice". Since Meyer Lemons have an orange-y flavor, you can substitute about a third of regular lemon juice with orange juice to imitate the flavor if you can't find them. I'd suggest substituting half of the zest as well. It won't be exactly the same, but you probably won't make fish faces after eating the sorbet if you made it with regular lemon juice. They are hard to find because they are not grown commercially. They are delicate. They require special attention when shipping. Most of the Meyers sold in California come from local growers, or small farms.
The taste as I said before is so wonderfully light, you can't beat it. It was a great addition to our Valentines dinner with friends, and a lovely pairing to our warm weather this past weekend. Like little suns in my wooden bowl. I hope to make some more interesting desserts for you before they disappear.
I can't resist telling you another story... these lemons kind of remind me of my fish in college, Limone (use your Italian here: Lee-mohn-eh). He was a beautiful Yellow Tang fish, and one day he got sick. Rather than try and transport him to CA with me (a three day journey not likely to have a positive ending) I took him back to the fish store and they said they would do their best to rehabilitate him. Better ending. Maybe he is planning his escape from a dental office as we speak.
Meyer Lemon Sorbet
1 1/4 C sugar
2 T lemon zest - finely grated
1 C lemon juice
4 C half and half
Whisk all of these together in a medium bowl, add to your ice cream maker and freeze for about 25 minutes - or according to your maker's instructions. Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight. Don't worry if it looks curdled in the ice cream maker, it will smooth out in the freezer. If you wanted this to be a little more soft and creamy than icy, you could substitute one cup of heavy cream for the half and half.

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