Meyer Lemon Sorbet
I was afraid that we were past Meyer lemon season since I had not seen them in any of the stores lately and then Voila! there they were again! Of course, I bought a half-dozen of them. I feel like I am bringing home something special when I buy Meyer lemons. I look forward to finding ways to cook with them and especially enjoy their flavor in desserts. And once they are gone (usually by the end of March), they will not be available again until next Winter. Just in case you are not familiar with them, they are believed to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange and originated in China.
I wanted to make something sweet, fresh and light with my unexpected purchase. I was craving a dessert that reminded me of Spring (since the Winter has been really long, miserable and cold here this year)! So, I decided to make a frozen dessert and after playing around a bit I had Meyer Lemon Sorbet. WOW! This sorbet has such a wonderful flavor! It is a delightful burst of lemon and orange along with a little tartness and sweetness.
I added vodka to the sorbet to prevent it from freezing too much. Because of that, the texture will be at its best if you take the soft sorbet from the ice cream maker and put it in a container and freeze overnight. The sorbet almost has the consistency of a true Italian ice. It was soft enough to scoop, but was not at all icy. You can see how smooth is was in the pictures!
I would also add that the flavor was more intense the next day as well. We really thought it was fabulous after sitting for a day. The 2 cups of sugar were perfect for our tastes, but you could reduce that if you prefer a more tart flavor. You could also use a little less of the zest if you do not want as much of the Meyer lemon flavor. I thought at first I might have been a bit over zealous with the zest, however, it was wonderful the next day. I would definitely make it again exactly as I did this time with no changes.
You better hurry up and get your Meyer Lemons and make this sorbet before they all disappear! 🙂
Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Makes 1 1/2 pints
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 large egg white, at room temperature
3/4 cups fresh Meyer Lemon juice (about 4 Meyer Lemons)
2 tsp. freshly grated Meyer Lemon zest
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vodka
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and boil 1 minute. (Be very careful as this mixture will boil over very quickly!). I remove it from the heat as soon as it has boiled.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg white until foamy. Slowly beat in the hot syrup mixture. Continue to beat until the mixture cools down slightly. Add the Meyer Lemon juice. Cover and chill until cold or overnight (I chill mine overnight. The colder the better). The mixture will have the egg white foam on top, but it will mix in when placed in the ice cream freezer.
Place the mixture in a well chilled ice cream freezer. Mix in the zest and the vodka and freeze until it is the consistency of a soft serve custard. Remove from ice cream freezer and place in another container. Freeze overnight.