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Lemon Sherbet Recipe and Video

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Lemon Sherbet is a light and refreshing frozen treat. It has a tangy sweet lemon flavor with a texture that is both creamy yet slightly grainy. The best way to describe it, is to say it's a cross between an ice cream and a sorbet. You can serve Lemon Sherbet as they do in fancy restaurants as a palate cleanser between courses. But more often than not, I serve it for dessert either on its own, or with some fresh fruit, or with a scoop of Blackberry Sorbet or Raspberry Sherbet.

This Lemon Sherbet is so easy to make. All you do is stir together equal amounts of lemon juice, heavy whipping cream, and milk. Then just sweeten the mixture with sugar. Because the tartness of the lemons can vary depending on the lemons you use, taste the mixture as you may have to add more sugar. While you can make the sherbet in an ice cream machine, it isn't absolutely necessary. I usually just "still freeze" the mixture. Which means you pour it into a metal dish (will freeze faster in metal) and then place in the freezer for about four hours or until frozen solid. As it freezes stir every 30-60 minutes to break up any ice crystals and to stir air into the mixture. Otherwise, if you don't stir the sherbet, its texture will be more like a popsicle.

Sherbet has a long history and in ancient times was a non alcoholic sweetened fruit drink sold in the Middle East by street vendors during the summer months. If we fast foward to today, the words 'sherbet' and 'sorbet' can be different things depending on where you live. So to avoid confusion, I use 'Sorbets' for frozen ices made using fresh fruit (juices/purees), sugar, and water. 'Sherbets', on the other hand, while containing fruit juice or puree and sugar, also contain milk and/or cream, and can sometimes even contain eggs.


Lemon Sherbet: In a measuring cup, stir together the lemon juice, lemon zest, cream, milk, and sugar. Taste and add more sugar if needed. There are two ways you can make this Sherbet.

Method One: If you do not have an ice cream machine you can 'still freeze' the sherbet. Which means pour the mixture into a metal pan (so it freezes faster), cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for about four hours or until firm (it will have a consistency somewhere between an ice cream and a sorbet). Stir the mixture ever 30 - 45 minutes to break up any large ice crystals that may have formed. For longer storage, transfer the sherbet to a container and store in the freezer.

Method Two: If using an ice cream machine, first cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours until cold. Then place in your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once made, transfer to a container and store in the freezer.

Makes about 4 servings. Preparation time 20 minutes.

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Lemon Sherbet Recipe:

1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 - 3 large lemons)

Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk (full or reduced fat)

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste 

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