You are currently viewing Recipe: Lemon Balm Sorbet with Lemon and Lime
The finished product is delicious and really screams spring!

Recipe: Lemon Balm Sorbet with Lemon and Lime

A client gave me an herb cookbook by Jekka McVicar years ago, and last week I made Lemon Balm Sorbet from it for the first time. It turned out so tasty that I had to share it. Oh, and no ice cream freezer required for this one.

Lemon balm is one of those herbs where it only occurs to me to make tea from it. But sorbet (or rather a granita) is a great way to showcase this bright and zingy herb. Let’s dive in.

Lemon balm, lemons, and limes make this dessert fresh and tangy.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 TBS water
  • 1 large bunch lemon balm (vague, I know, but use what you have), leaves removed from their stems and finely chopped (see notes)
  • Zest and juice of 5 limes
  • Zest and juice of 5 lemons (we have big juicy lemons so we used 4)


Place 1 cup sugar and 1 cup +2 TBS water in a small pan on the stove and bring to a boil (you are making a simple syrup). Boil for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

Lemon juice, lime juice and the zest of both.

Next, mix the juices and zest of 5 lemons and 5 limes into the simple syrup. Add the chopped lemon balm leaves and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a wide freezer-proof dish and place flat in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours.

Stir the mixture every 30 minutes to break up ice crystals until it is firm enough.

The finished result has a toothsome feel, as you taste bits of lemon balm, and the zest from both citruses. (NOTES: if you’re not into chewy bits in your sorbet, try steeping the zest and lemon balm in the simple syrup, then straining it before mixing in the juices). Or chop everything up extremely fine for a smoother texture.

The finished product is delicious and really screams spring!

I mentioned that this is more like an Italian granita than a sorbet. Stir more frequently for a smooth texture, or enjoy a chunky style frozen dessert by stirring less often. Either way it’s delicious and screams of spring and summer. Try it out for yourself. No ice cream freezer required.

Find other great sorbet recipes from the Gardenerd archives here.

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