Tart and refreshing, this easy lemon sorbet recipe is the perfect treat for lemon lovers on a hot summer days. It has only three simple ingredients and couldn’t be more delicious.
Sorbet is fruit puree mixed with sugar and water or fruit juice mixed with sugar, without eggs, milk, or cream. It can contain a lot of sugar if you get it in ice cream shops or grocery stores, but when you make it at home, you can control the amount of sugar for a healthier version.
Homemade Lemon Sorbet is also a non-dairy frozen dessert and it is one of my favorite after dinner treats or palate cleanser, but that doesn’t mean you only have to have it at the end of a meal! You can have it at anytime.
You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this easy dessert; just a blender or food processor and freezer would do. However, an ice cream machine does the trick if you prefer a smooth sorbet.
You make the best Lemon Sorbet with the following:
Fresh Lemons (waxed and unwaxed): For the lemon zest, you want to use unwaxed lemons, but for the juice, you can use either. Meyer lemons or Amalfi Lemons also make a fabulous choice, but standard lemons are fine too!
Fresh Lemon juice: 1 cup lemon juice is all you’ll need.
Granulated sugar: You’ll need 1 cup sugar to sweeten the sorbet.
Water: Use 2 1/2 cups cold water to make the lemon sugar mix.
1. Squeeze those lemons
If you want great lemon sorbet, you have to use fresh lemons. So squeeze the lemons and grate the zest of two of lemon.
2. Dissolve the sugar
Combine 1/2 cup water and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat to make a simple syrup. Grate the zest of the two lemons into the sugar water combination and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Cool, cool, cool
Remove from the heat and add the rest of the water. Put in the fridge to chill for either a few hours of overnight.
4. Freeze (skip this step if you’re using an ice cream maker)
Transfer this sorbet mixture into a freezer-safe, airtight container or a shallow loaf pan (and cover tightly with plastic wrap) and place it in the freezer for about 4 hours.
After it’s completely frozen, keep the sorbet at room temperature to partially thaw it and break up the ice crystals. Transfer it to the food processor for a minute or two (for a light, fluffy texture). Transfer the sorbet back into its container and refreeze for at least 3 hours.
5. Chill and transfer to the ice cream maker (skip this step if you’re not using an ice cream maker)
Transfer the mixture to the chilled container of your ice-cream maker and make the sorbet as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can start eating your easy lemon sorbet immediately or keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm it up.
The Ice Cream maker to use!
You have to have an ice cream maker if you want to make ice cream or sorbet! I started making it using the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato.
There is no faffing around with bowls in the freezer. When you are ready for ice cream, it’s ready. Just turn on the Cuisinart ice cream maker and go. In about 40 minutes, you have ice cream that you can eat right then, or you can put it in the freezer to harden up a bit more. Once done in, you’ll have about 1 litre of ice cream ready to devour!
Here are some valuable tips to help you make the perfect sorbet that you can relish with those around you:
- When tasting the sorbet after freezing, add some sugar syrup if there’s too little sugar or add some water if there’s too much sugar, and refreeze the sorbet.
- The sorbet will be ready to serve about 4-6 hours after placing it in the freezer the first time. If you’re freezing it for longer, keep it at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften it sufficiently for scooping.
- Stir 3 tablespoons of Limoncello liquor into the final pureed mixture before freezing it. The alcohol prevents the sorbet from becoming solid ice and keeps it scoopable in the freezer. Skip the alcohol if you’ll be serving the sorbet to children.
Although a simple Lemon Sorbet tastes great, you can add more flavors to make it extra special. Here are a few that go well with pear:
- Raspberries: Raspberries and lemons are a fabulous combination. When done right, the two flavors complement each other perfectly, resulting in a sorbet that is even more tart!
- Limoncello or Vodka: Adding a lemon liqueur or vodka will just enhance the lemon flavor and a great way to make a sophisticated dessert for adults only!
- Sgroppino: Another adult-only cocktail – mix lemon sorbet, vodka/Italicus and prosecco to make a classic Venetian cocktail. Bar Swift in London makes a great Scroppino and you can find the recipe here!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does Lemon Sorbet last in the freezer?
If you store your sorbet in an airtight container or a properly covered container, it can last for up to a month in the freezer. And while it’s still safe to eat the sorbet beyond that, it starts becoming overly icy. With each scoop, you’re bound to get more ice crystals in your mouth.
Is Lemon Sorbet vegan?
Yes, Lemon Sorbet is vegan as it does not contain any animal products.
Is Lemon Sorbet gluten-free?
Yes, Lemon Sorbet is gluten-free as it does not contain any wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.
The cherry on top
Sorbets are a great alternative to ice cream during the blazing hot summer days. With the many benefits of lemons, like a great Vitamin C source, low in sugar and calories, there’s all the more reason to try out this lemon sorbet recipe.
You can also try different sorbet recipes using other fruits instead of lemons. Watermelon, mango, and raspberry are refreshing summer fruits and make great sorbets with or without an ice cream maker. Take it up a notch and try fruit combinations!
Try a few of these other sorbets and ice creams!
Here’s the Lemon Sorbet recipe!
- 2 lemons unwaxed
- 2½ cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (6 or 7 lemons)
- Combine 1/2 cup of the water and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Grate the zest of the two lemons into the sugar water combination and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and add the rest of the water. Put in the fridge to chill for either a few hours or overnight.
- When chilled, remove from the fridge and add the lemon juice.
- Make it in an ice cream maker according to manufacture's instructions.
- Serve immediately or put in freezer to harden.