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Fresh Lemon Sherbet

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“Unlike ice cream, store-bought sherbet is usually third-rate. If you want a really good fruit sherbet, do you have to make it yourself? YES. In our house lemon is our favorite, but you can use this basic recipe and substitute fresh squeezed lime or orange juice, or use fresh raspberries (YUM). Since getting an ice cream maker with the freezer insert, we make sherbet weekly. We like the sherbet better than regular ice cream and it's a 'little' healthier! If using a canister-style (freezer insert) ice cream machine, freeze the cannister for at least 12 hours, or preferably, overnight. If the canister insert is not thoroughly frozen, the sherbet will not freeze beyond a slushy consistency. Be sure to use freshly squeezed (not bottled) lemon juice. You can substitute vodka for the Triple Sec if desired, but the Triple Sec adds a more citrusy flavor. Prep time includes juice chilling time. Adapted from Cook's Illustrated (America's Test Kitchen).”
3hrs 50mins
1 quart

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Process zest, sugar, and salt in a food processor until damp, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses.
  2. With the machine running, add lemon juice and water in a slow steady stream; continue to process until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 1 minute.
  3. Strain the mixture through a non-reactive fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl to remove pulp and zest; stir in Triple Sec, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until very cold, about 40º, 30-60 minutes (Alternatively, set the bowl over larger bowl containing ice water).
  4. Do not let mixture freeze.
  5. When mixture is cold, using a whisk, whip the cream in a chilled medium bowl until soft peaks form. Whisking constantly, add the chilled juice mixture in a steady stream, pouring against the edge of the bowl.
  6. Immediately start the ice cream machine and add the juice/cream mixture to the frozen insert.
  7. Churn until the sherbet has the texture of soft-serve ice cream, 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the canister from the machine and transfer the sherbet to a storage container; press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the sherbet (to prevent ice crystals from forming) and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. Can be wrapped well in plastic and frozen for up to one week.
  9. To serve, let sherbet stand at room temperature until slightly softened and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the sherbet registers 12º to 15º.

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