Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lime Sorbet


You may not believe this, but I don't really like ice cream. I've found that I love to make it, because there are so many fun and surprising flavor combinations possible; but, in general, ice cream is just too heavy and rich for me.

I DO love sorbet, though.

No matter how cold it is outside -- I love sorbet, and LIME SORBET is my favorite.

So, for this recipe you will need an ice cream maker. If you don't have one, ask around, because it is highly likely that you will find a friend who has one sitting neglected in the back of a cabinet somewhere. Borrow it, wash out the spiderwebs, and see what you think about making your own frozen goodness.

If you decide to buy one, (and your friend won't give you hers or sell it to you cheap) plan on spending about $50 for the counter top models with the container that has to be frozen in order to make the ice cream. I have a Cuisinart and couldn't be happier with the results I get.

lime sorbet-2

Look at these limes. Beautiful AND delicious.


After much research and some trial and error, I finally found a great recipe for Lime Sorbet (from that sounded right up my alley. A couple of easy tweaks to make it exactly what I was looking for, and the result is something that I keep in my freezer all the time.

Please don't let limes ever go out of season.

You will need
  • One bag of limes (or, at least 7 -8 nice sized limes)

Start by washing the limes really well. Pick out one or two limes with the best skin. These are the limes you will use to get
  • a (generous) Tablespoon of zest.

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I used to use a little zester that peeled it off in strips that were always much too thick and would often even include a bit of the white pith (which is terribly bitter and sour.) Then I treated myself to a microplane zester.

Oh. My. Goodness. Let us pause for a minute...

(Dear Santa, If anyone of these lovely readers does not have a microplane zester, please be sure to bring them one for Christmas. Thank you very much and amen. Love, Linda)

lime sorbet-3

See how lovely and fine the zest is? It is practically perfect in every way. Note -- when you use your zester, hold the fruit underneath and the zester on top. That way, the zest stays right there on the tool until you are ready to tip it over your little bowl and neatly pour it in.

Next, roll the limes around on the counter a bit to loosen them up. Cut in half and juice until you have
  • a cup of lime juice. The number of limes you need will vary, depending on their size and how juicy they are. It took me seven limes to get enough juice this time.

Note: If you have leftover limes and don't plan on using them for anything else, feel free to go ahead and juice them and freeze the juice to use later on in a later batch of lime sorbet.

I have an electric juicer, but normally use a regular glass or plastic juicer for this small of a job. There's something nice about getting your hands all sticky and citrus-y smelling.

lime sorbet-5

You can even just smash and squeeze the limes without any equipment, but that might be too much like work.

Now that we have our little dish with lime zest and your cup of lime juice ready, we can move over to the stove where we'll make our simple syrup.

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In a small saucepan (and, again, I love the kind with rounded sides) pour in:
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar and
  • 2 cups water along with
  • about 1 teaspoon of your lime zest.

Heat over medium heat, stirring nearly constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear. You want the sugar really dissolved -- no gritty feeling on the bottom of the pan -- but you don't want to keep cooking and cooking until you stop making sorbet and start making candy. That would be a different recipe entirely.

Pour the syrup into a medium bowl, stir in the cup of lime juice and the rest of the lime zest.

Here's where I add my own trick ingredient, which adds a nice depth of flavor and keeps the sorbet from freezing into a rock in the freezer. Stir in:
  • 1 shot Triple Sec.

Cover the mix, and refrigerate until nice and cold.

Once the mix is cold (and I usually let it chill at least overnight) freeze the sorbet according to your equipment directions. Pack into a covered container and freeze for an hour or two to harden a bit before enjoying.

lime sorbet-1

Go away cruel world. Hello sweet taste of summah-tiiime. Yum.

Most recipes state that homemade ice creams and sorbets keep in the freezer from one to two weeks, so that's the general rule of thumb I use, too.

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