LEMON SHERBET

Lemon Sherbet

This sherbet (sher-bit) has a great story behind it.

In the fall of 2014 we were at Courtney and John’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where John’s mom, Barbara, was guiding me through her famous shrimp and grits recipe. The conversation eventually turned to her mother, Helen, and her lemon sherbet. To my delight, she offered to share the recipe with me.

Later, Helen told Barbara that the sherbet actually goes back a full four generations, originating from Barbara’s grandmother on her father’s side! What a treasure.

  • LEMON SHERBET
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2hr 0mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
2 cups whole milk
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated or powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (juice from approximately 1 pound of lemons)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, firmly packed (1/8 ounce)
Place all in a 1-quart jar; cap tightly and shake to combine. Refrigerate one hour to help dissolve the sugar.

Tip: Cut lemons in half at their equators, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch seeds.

Dissolving sugar decreases ice crystal formation during the freezing process.
Follow ice cream maker’s instructions, freezing until the mixture is quite thick (15-20 minutes). Quickly transfer to a 1-pint storage container with a bamboo spoon, cap tightly and freeze promptly to firm (10-12 hours). Texture is best if served within 1 week. Bamboo introduces less temperature shock than metal utensils.

Testing Notes: The grated rind is essential for robust flavor. Omitting results in a bland sherbet.

ORANGE SHERBET
In a 1-quart jar, combine 2 cups milk, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon grated orange rind. Chill and process as directed above.

LIME SHERBET
In a 1-quart jar, combine 2 cups milk, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1 teaspoon grated lime rind. Chill and process as directed above.

LEMON SHERBET II
Makes 3 cups

We love John’s great grandmother’s sherbet. After making it several times, I began toying with the idea of trying a version with a simple syrup. The result is delightfully elastic in texture and incredibly intense in flavor. I think John’s great grandmother would be proud.

WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
1 cup warm water
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
Add water to a 3-quart tri-ply saucepan. Add sugar in a neat mound, like a mountain surrounded by a moat. With a fork, gently stir together, taking care to avoid splashing sugar crystals onto pan sides. Cover with a tight fitting lid; bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Keep covered until misture is clear and steam escapes around lid edges (6-7 minutes). This creates a simple syrup. Trapped steam helps dissolve any sugar crystals that might be clinging to the pan sides. Dissolving sugar decreases ice crystal formation during the freezing process.
1/2 cup lemon juice (the juice from approximately 1 pound of lemons)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, firmly packed (1/8 ounce)

Add to the simple syrup. Leave uncovered to cool to 100°F (25-30 minutes).

Tip: Cut lemons in half at their equators, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch seeds.

 Adding lemon juice and rind to syrup off heat intensifies flavor without imparting a cooked taste.
1 cup whole milk Add to a 1-quart jar; pour in the cooled, flavored simple syrup. Cap tightly and shake to combine. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to chill.
Follow ice cream maker’s instructions, freezing until the mixture is quite thick (15-20 minutes). Quickly transfer to a 1-pint storage container with a bamboo spoon, cap tightly and freeze promptly to firm (10-12 hours). Texture is best if served within 3 days. Bamboo introduces less temperature shock than metal utensils.

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