This past weekend my foodie friend Myra, and her husband John, came over for dinner. Myra is one of the few people who I think I could talk recipes with all day without either of us ever getting bored!
A few weeks ago she shared a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sorbet, and told me to go to Costco because they had boxes of them for a great price. This was the first time I’d ever tried Meyer Lemons. They are darker than regular lemons, and they smell like lemons mixed with a tiny bit of lavender.
I wanted to try the sorbet, and thought it would be perfect timing to make it for dessert the night they joined us for dinner. Being my typical self, I couldn’t just follow the recipe. I had to change it and make it my own. Myra had mentioned that when she made the sorbet it was quite puckery sweet and tart, more like a palate cleanser, so I decided to use coconut milk to temper the flavor a bit.
There are a few separate components here—none are terribly hard, but they do take a little bit of time—mostly hands off though, so you can multi task. I made candied lemon peel as a garnish. This was a 2-for-1 because it made the simple syrup that the original recipe called for, as well as the candied lemon peel. This is completely optional though…you could just make a simple syrup of 1 part water, 1 part sugar and skip the peels if you don’t care for them. We liked them though….like little bits of candy! I also made coconut whipped cream and folded it into the lemon sorbet. You could just pour a can of coconut milk right in with the sorbet mix instead if you prefer. I think they would taste about the same, but I wasn’t sure that the coconut milk would freeze nicely if I just dumped it in to my ice cream maker.
Give it a try, and let me know how you like it. I hope you like my spin on classic lemon sorbet!
Candied Lemon Peel
6 lemons (Meyer are great)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup cold water
2 cups sugar, + ¼ c sugar for rolling finished lemon peel
Peel the lemons with vegetable peeler, taking off long, thin strips (my all time favorite vegetable peeler is this one from Messermeister). Fill a medium sauce pan 3/4 full with water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the lemon peels and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.
Repeat, using the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This is softening the lemon peels and taking away the residual bitterness of the white pith.? Drain the peels for a second time and set aside. Add the cold water and two cups sugar to the saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the sugar dissolves add the lemon peels and simmer on low for 45-60 minutes.
Watch near the end to make sure the sugar doesn’t caramelize. Immediately lift out the peels with a fork and put them into a shallow bowl with about a ¼ c of sugar. Toss around with a fork to coat, and then place them on a piece of wax paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
When they have cooled and dried put in a sealed container in the refrigerator, where they will last for quite a long time. Reserve syrup.
Meyer Lemon Coconut Sorbet
Juice of 7 lemons, 1 ¼ c (the 6 from the candied peels + 1)
(My lemon press from Chef’n makes quick work of juicing lemons)
Zest of 1 lemon (that 7th one I just added)
¾ c lemon simple syrup, reserved from previous step
Coconut Whipped Cream
Mix ingredients in a bowl slowly, tasting as you add. Adjust sweetness to your taste.
Following manufacturers’ directions, place into ice cream maker and freeze.
Once fairly frozen, place in bowl and fold in coconut whipped cream. Place in freezer and let firm up. We served this immediately after making it and it was quite soft but still totally delicious.
I was lucky enough to save myself 1 bowl for the next day, and after freezing overnight I thought it was even better. The taste was the same, but it had more of a real sorbet consistency. So…I recommend that you make this the day before if possible, but it is absolutely delicious no matter what—you could probably just drink the mix before its frozen even…its that good! Garnish with candied lemon peels and impress your guests!