Lemon Sorbet in a white bowl on a kitchen bench.

Lemon Sorbet Recipe

Lemon sorbet is a refreshingly tangy dessert that’s hard to stop eating. This dessert showcases the bright, zesty flavour of lemons and only requires a few simple ingredients.

It’s an ideal choice for warm summer days, eaten on its own or scooped into your favourite cocktail.

Remember to cool the mixture thoroughly before churning. Otherwise, you may get half-frozen sorbet that turns rock-hard once frozen.

Ingredients

  • Sugar: caster sugar is best for making sorbet.
  • Lemon zest: dials up the tanginess in the dessert.
  • Salt: skip the table salt and choose a good quality option like fleur de sel.
  • Lemon juice: preferably fresh juice, but use bottled juice if you’re in a pinch.
  • Vodka: or any white spirit in your liquor cabinet.

Instructions

  1. Whisk sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
  2. Add lemon juice, water and vodka and beat until mixed through.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until thoroughly chilled. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Scoop into a container and freeze until hard – about 2 hours.
Fresh lemons sliced in half on a chopping board.

How to make lemon sorbet without an ice cream machine

Instead of using an ice cream machine, transfer the sorbet liquid to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove and process with a stick blender or whisk until smooth and soft.

Return the sorbet to the freezer and repeat the beating step every half hour until hard.

Tips for making better lemon sorbet

Make better lemon sorbet following these tips and techniques:

  • Use fresh lemons: For the best flavour, use fully ripened lemons. The freshness adds brightness and an extra tangy punch.
  • Balance sweet and tart: Get the right balance between sweetness and tartness. Do this by tasting and adjusting the sugar and lemon juice quantities before freezing.
  • Strain the juice: Strain the lemon juice to remove seeds and pulp for a smoother sorbet.
  • Chill the mixture: Allow time to thoroughly chill the sorbet mixture before pouring it into the ice cream maker. This helps it freeze quicker, resulting in a smoother, less icy consistency.
  • Add some alcohol: Add a small amount of alcohol, like vodka, to the mixture. Alcohol lowers the freezing point, producing a softer texture.
  • Regular stirring: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a shallow container and stir every 20-30 minutes to break up ice crystals.
  • Soften to serve: Serve the sorbet slightly softened for easy scooping and to help bring out the flavour. Let it sit at room temperature until it reaches the desired consistency.
Lemon sorbet in a bowm

Lemon Sorbet Recipe

A refreshing sorbet made from fresh lemons.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Keyword: lemon, sorbet
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Freeze time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • cups caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vodka or similar white spirit

Instructions

  • Whisk sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
  • Add lemon juice, water and vodka and beat until mixed through.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until thoroughly chilled. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Scoop into a container and freeze until hard – about 2 hours.

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