Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet: beat the heat
This sorbet, my friends. Tart with lemons and lime and tons of zest. Spicy with ginger and cardamom. Softened with a bit of vanilla. On a hot day, you are going to be so happy to have Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet in your freezer. That the syrup doubles as a tasty mixer only makes it that much more likely that you’ll be making this on repeat.
An experimental riff
I love a classic lemon sorbet, and I’ve been meaning to make one since I got my ice cream maker, but I get distracted with things like riffing on Finnish blueberry soup. When we had hot weather in the forecast, I thought Aha! I shall finally make that lemon sorbet.
But then I had had some ginger on hand, and some limes, and I started to get ideas. It took a couple of takes before I got the syrup right. The first time, I added a bit too much vanilla and didn’t grate the ginger, for fear that it would not strain out. The result was delicious, but more vanilla than ginger, and not enough citrus. A good mixer for bourbon or dark rum, but not right for a refreshing sorbet. The second one was closer, but I didn’t get enough of the zest.
Third try did the trick for Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet
Third time was the charm, but I had my doubts. I was concerned about finely grated lime zest and grated ginger not straining out, and I worried that I had not removed enough of the pith from my lemon strips. And, finally, close to a cup of citrus juice seemed like a lot, even for someone who likes tart as much as I do. It was just the right amount.
Do remember to chill that syrup overnight, because that’s what brings out all the flavor (this goes for any sorbet or ice cream—it’s a really important step).
Do I really have to add egg whites?
Generally, I make sorbets by making a simple syrup, blending some fruit with a bit of water, and then adding the syrup and straining. Citrus based sorbets are a bit different in that, generally, you haven’t blended your fruit into a simple syrup. Sorbets already run a risk of having an icy texture, and this one definitely seemed like it could go that way.
I saw a lot of lemon sorbet recipes that called for beaten egg whites. I did not feel like futzing with folding, especially when it’s hot. I mean, if that was the only way to get it to work, fine, but I wanted to see if there was another way.
Enter the blender
Then I found this recipe that used a blender to whip air into the mixture just before freezing in the ice cream maker. I decided to go with that, plus adding a little less water than I normally would. I also give this recipe credit for getting a little bolder with the amount of citrus in the syrup.
Perfection—Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet
Perfection. This sorbet came out of the machine with such a smooth texture, and it froze beautifully. I might try using the blender for my other sorbet recipes.
The flavor, too. My goodness. Yum. You’ll find yourself going back for more Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet, and it’s fine, because it’s most light!
Recipe and video below. Let me know if you make it and what you think in the comments!
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Spiced Lemon-Lime Sorbet
- 1 Blender
- 1 Ice cream maker
For the Spiced Lemon-Lime Syrup
- 180 g granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 2 large lemons, zest peeled into strips and juiced be careful to not get pith. You should have a little over a half cup a juice. If not, juice another lemon
- 1 lime, zest finely grated and juiced you should have a total of at least ¾ juice between the lime and the lemon
- 1 tsp grated ginger to taste, I used a little more
- 4 cardamom pods
- ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
- water, as needed to get 1 cup of liquid
To Make the Sorbet
- 2 cups Spiced Citrus Syrup
- 1 cup ice water
Make the Spiced Lemon-Lime Syrup
- Add the sugar and zest to a sauce pan. With your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar. This helps to extract the oils from the zest incorporated
- Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan and heat over low heat just until the sugar is melted. Leave to cool completely and steep on the stove
- When cool, using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a clean glass container. You shouldn't have ginger or zest in the mixture, but if you do, you could strain again before making your sorbet
- Chill for at least four hours, but preferably overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
To Make the Sorbet
- In a blender, add 2 cups of syrup and 1 cup of water (it's OK if these are off just a bit, but the proportions should be 2:1). Note that in the illustrations, I'm making enough for approximately a pint. Blend on the whip/puree for about 3 minutes. This gets air into the sorbet and helps it to get the right texture without using an egg white
- Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Working very quickly, transfer the sorbet into containers and freeze for at least a few hours before serving