When I set the latest Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream as herbs, I knew already that I wanted to do a lemon and limoncello sorbet with a herb.

I was recently sent a copy of The Flavour Thesaurus, in which I looked up herbs that might be a good match for lemon. The book was alright… To be honest, I already thought of the obvious pairings before I read it – lemon and thyme, lemon and lavender, lemon and mint, lemon and rosemary. Perhaps it’ll prove more useful when I’m trying to find matches for more unusual ingredients.

I fancied something with an element of savoury to it, so went for Lemon, Limoncello & Thyme.

All the lemon sorbet recipes I could find online are essentially a variation of the same technique (juice the lemons, make a sugar syrup, mix together and freeze) but with wildly differing ratios of each ingredient. So I made up my own recipe according to what felt and tasted right.

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The basic recipe is a doddle so I’ll likely make it again to see how I like the other flavour pairings.

I like the idea of lime, mint and rum Mojito sorbet. And lemon and lavender could be lovely on a hot summer afternoon.

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Lemon, Limoncello & Thyme Sorbet

Ingredients
250 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
150 grams sugar
200 ml water
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme. plus extra for garnish
50 ml limoncello liqueur

Note: I haven’t specified an exact number of lemons, since the amount of juice you’ll get from each will vary. My 6 small lemons gave me 250 ml of juice.

Method

  • Juice your lemons, reserving the discarded skins. (Tip: I find rolling the lemons firmly on a hard surface before cutting makes it easier to release the juice.)

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  • Gently heat the sugar, water and thyme together until the sugar is fully dissolved.

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  • Add the limoncello to the lemon juice.
  • Add your flavoured sugar syrup to the lemon juice in batches, and taste for sweetness as you go. If you’ve added all the syrup and your mixture is still too sharp, make up some more syrup using the same 3:4 ratio of sugar to water. (It’s hard to judge since some lemons are sweeter and some are much sharper).

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  • If you are happy with the thyme flavour, remove the sprigs of thyme now. Otherwise, leave them in the mix and refrigerate to cool. (If it’s going to be quite some time before you can churn the mixture, you may wish to taste it now and again and remove the thyme when it has infused sufficiently for your tastes).
  • Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine. (Alternatively, you can freeze, removing from the freezer and mixing with a fork at regular intervals).

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  • In the meantime, use a pair of scissors to snip and scrape as much of the membranes from the lemon skins as possible and slice off the very tips to make a flat base so the halves can stand, like cups.

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  • Once the sorbet is churned, you may need to transfer to the freezer for it to solidify a little further.
  • I used the lemon peel cups to serve, with a sprig of fresh thyme as garnish.

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In the heat of my kitchen, it melted fast! But it was a great reward and I was very happy with how it came out.

This is my entry for the June July BSFIC challenge.

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You still have time to enter, so please do join in!

 

I recently found myself with some beautiful fresh buffalo ricotta and a plump Amalfi lemon. Courtesy of The Sauce, they were part of a Campania taster box that also contained buffalo mozzarella, fennel salami, sopressata di Gioi (a cured pork sausage with a core of lard) and a Bagnoli truffle.

I wasn’t sure how best to use them but when Pete suggested a cheesecake, I was immediately excited. I had the remnants of a packet of digestive biscuits to use up and it’s the kind of recipe that I knew I could make up as I went.

The result was well balanced in both taste and texture and very quick and easy too.

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I opted to make 6 mini cheesecakes in individual glass ramekins but you could make one larger cheesecake if you prefer.

 

(No Bake) Mini Lemon Ricotta Cheesecakes

Ingredients
120 grams digestive biscuits
50 grams butter
240 grams ricotta
100 ml lemon juice (from 1 large lemon or two medium lemons)
75 grams icing sugar
Optional: lemon zest

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Method

  • Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs. I use a clear bag (so I can see how I’m progressing) and a wooden rolling pin. Don’t be too aggressive or you’ll burst the bag and get biscuit crumbs everywhere!

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  • Melt the butter. I do this by heating in the microwave for 20-30 seconds but you can also use a saucepan on the stove.
  • Mix the melted butter into the digestive crumbs thoroughly.

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  • Divide the cheesecake base evenly between 6 individual ramekins and use the back of a spoon to press down and smooth evenly around the ramekin.

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  • Zest the lemon and then juice. I recommend using a finer grater than I did, to produce much smaller zest.

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  • In a large bowl combine the ricotta, lemon juice and icing sugar. You may prefer to hold some of the sugar back and add more after tasting.
  • Mix thoroughly until the ricotta has broken down completely and the ingredients have formed a thick cream. You may need to beat the mixture a little to make it smoother.
  • Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
  • Divide the mixture between the ramekins and tap to distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle lemon zest over each dish.

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  • Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour.

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  • The cheesecakes will last 2-3 days in the fridge.

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With thanks to The Sauce for my Campania tasting box.

I’m submitting this post to Tea Time Treats run by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

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