During the summer months, I’m famous for my lemon sorbet. I use Meyer lemons from the tree outside the back door and feed the finished product to my girlfriends when we get together for high tea or some other summer thing that girls do. Now that it’s winter, not many people are thinking about lemon sorbet, except for my friend Orna, who has a tree full of lemons and doesn’t know what to do with them. She recently wrote me to ask for my lemon sorbet recipe.
For those in Zone 10, you might be up to your knees in lemons too, so here are a few ideas for what to do with your lemons during the winter:
Freeze them whole – if you wash and dry your lemons and throw them into the freezer whole, you’ll have them at the ready to defrost and use for juice any time of the year. You won’t be able to use the skin for zest, but the juice will be just as good as the day you picked the lemon.
Make Ice Cubes – after juicing all your lemons, pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze them, then store the cubes in plastic bags to throw into soups, glasses of water or anything else that needs the bright flavor of lemons.
Freeze in 1 1/2 cup Quantities – you can freeze juice in any quantity you like, but this is the amount you’ll need for the Lemon Sorbet recipe below. Freeze juice in either tightly sealed freezer bags, or plastic containers in quantities that you can easily defrost for lemonade later on.
And now, my recipe for Lemon Sorbet – it comes from the instruction manual for the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. No lie.
Fresh Lemon Sorbet
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes.
This is called a simple syrup, and may be made ahead in larger quantities to have on hand for making lemon sorbet. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
When cool, add the lemon juice and zest; stir to combine. Transfer to an ice cream maker (or in the case of the Cuisinart, turn the machine on and then pour in the mixture.
Mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.