Lemon Sorbet

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Thanks to the Mediterranean climate we enjoy, our lemon tree gives us two harvests per calendar year. I just read in Harold McGee's thorough and I-always-learn-something-fascinating On Food and Cooking (just revised!) that Sicilian lemon growers purposely withold water from their lemon trees through the arid summers, then water them in late September, thus ensuring a second harvest.

We harvested yesterday, and the haul (2.5 quarts of juice) bested our April bounty, with still more fruit waiting to ripen on the branches. What made juicing all those lemons a snap was a food processor with a juicer attachment. And that's what also makes the lemon sorbet recipe easy, too (but a hand mixer or even old-fashioned elbow grease will also work.)

Lemon Sorbet

For one quart of sorbet:
2 cups water
1.5 cups sugar
1 egg white
¾ cup lemon juice

  1. Dissolve sugar in water over low heat in a pan on the stove.
  2. After sugar is in solution, boil gently for one minute, then remove from heat.
  3. Set aside sugar solution and allow to cool, while beating the egg white in a food processor until foamy (this will only take a few pulses).
  4. Slowly drizzle in sugar solution while running food processor and whip egg-sugar mix into a meringue.
  5. Fold in lemon juice, and cool mixture in refrigerator or ice bath (faster option).
  6. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn per your maker's protocol.

Usually we freeze the end-product after churning, for a more-solid texture. Last night I couldn't wait any longer, so we ate it immediately after churning. It was more like an italian ice, which was just fine by me.

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