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!

 

Although the enthusiasm for making and sharing ice cream has waned somewhat during the winter, several of you still joined me in celebrating a year of BSFIC by choosing one (or more) of the previous 12 themes of the challenge.

 

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Ozzy from Light/ Bites shared a refreshing Blood Orange Slushy, taking inspiration from April’s theme of sorbets, granitas, shaved ice desserts, slushies and spooms. Combining orange zest, pureed flesh, some grated ginger, half a vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom and Demerara sugar, he created a mix that he turned into a sorbet the old-fashioned way – removing it from the freezer at intervals to break up the chunks. As the finished result wasn’t as solid as he’d intended, he called it a slushie and served it with pieces of chocolate brownie.

 

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FoodyCat Alicia also used seasonal citrus, this time Seville oranges, in her Seville Orange Ice Cream, enjoyed as part of a celebratory wedding anniversary meal and served in lovely homemade brandy snaps. Although she was happy with the flavour of her ice cream, she felt the texture wasn’t quite right so has provided two versions of the recipe, one as she made it and an adjusted one she reckons will work better. Best of all, she met three of the past themes – June’s fruit, July’s condensed milk and December’s booze!

 

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Claire from Under The Blue Gum Tree really went to town, recreating a dessert from The Restaurant at St Paul’s in London but adding her own twists too. Her Honey Ice Cream and Gingerbread Sandwich looks absolutely stunning! She sandwiched a custard-based honey ice cream between two layers of gingerbread cake and topped the whole lot off with a decadent ginger-spiked dark chocolate ganache. I have to say it really does look both professional and utterly delicious and a real crowd-pleaser.

 

Espresso and Baileys Ice Cream

Michael from Me, My Food & I made a tasty Espresso and Baileys Ice Cream which fit into both the condensed milk and booze themes of July and December. His original influence was a Nigella recipe which he adapted according to the ingredients he could find. An obliging friend sourced the instant espresso powder, Baileys was substituted for the original coffee liqueur and Michael finished off the presentation by scattering crushed coffee biscuits over the top. Decadent, quick and easy!

 

Damson

I love the styling that Hannah from Corner Cottage Bakery has created for the photos of her Damson Gin Ice Cream. As the queen of leftovers, she was determined to make good use of the alcohol-soaked damsons that were a side product of her damson gin production. She pureed the boozy fruit and mixed it into a rich custard base, meeting three previous challenge themes – custard-bases, fruit and booze from February, June and December. I love the pretty pink colour – it looks delicious!

 

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Having been sent an enormous sample box of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, I was determined to include these in a simple but colourful ice cream. I took the lazy option and used the no-churn recipe I discovered for July’s condensed milk theme (for which I made a honeycomb ice cream slice). To my surprise, the jelly bean makers themselves commented on my Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Ice Cream post – apparently every time they’ve experimented with incorporating the product into an ice cream the beans have gone rock hard. That mine retained some chew confounded them – I posit that commercial ice creams have to be frozen to lower temperatures than those made in a domestic freezer.

 

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Chloë is the author of Gannet and Parrot, one of the more unusual blog names I’ve come across! Deciding that vanilla ice cream was too boring, she suddenly remembered the spiced lassi in her fridge and wondered what it might be like frozen. An Iced Spiced Lassi froyo, if you will. Her idea fit best into the spices theme from September 2012. Although she felt the texture of her first attempt wasn’t right – too powdery and not the right balance between sweet and tart – she loved the flavours of the spicy yoghurt and condensed milk. The toasted cumin, fresh and crystallised ginger, green chilli all came through clearly. I hope she’ll give the idea another go, as it sounds like it has great potential to me.

 

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Julia from Something Missing loves making ice cream but was becoming frustrated with all the leftover egg whites she didn’t know how to use. Luckily, a chance viewing of a food show on telly gave her the inspiration to make an amazing Chocolate and Hazelnut Egg White Ice Cream. The technique involves folding Italian meringue into whipped cream and is a no churn ice recipe. It took a little effort but Julia was very happy with the results. Another way of using egg whites is to made yourself some spoom – essentially a sorbet mixed with Italian meringue!

 

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When Monica of Smarter Fitter came to visit us recently, she was full of excitement about a Holy Mole Weekend of cooking she was planning – a feast of all things Mexican including tamales, mole sauce, black beans, salsa and for dessert, rich chocolate brownies. Thinking about ice cream that would reflect the theme and go well with chocolate, I suggested something along the lines of the avocado ice cream I made last summer. Monica opted for an Avocado Ice Cream recipe by ice cream guru David Lebovitz, liking the inclusion of sour cream and lime, which balanced beautifully with her Mexican flavours. And of course, her recipe fit June’s fruit theme perfectly!

 

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Thank you to all the intrepid winter ice cream makers who joined me for this challenge. Look out for the April challenge, coming very soon.

 

We might not have had quite enough sunshine this month to really make us yearn for light, bright and refreshing sorbets, granitas, shaved ice desserts, slushies and spooms but that hasn’t stopped us from getting creative in the kitchen.

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Here are all the entries, in the order they were posted. If you like what you see, do pop over to the participating blogs and leave them a nice comment.

I’ll be posting the May challenge in a day or two!

 

PebbleSoup

Solange from Pebble Soup was very fast off the mark, posting her entry only two days after the challenge was announced! Solange has combined rhubarb, currently in season in the UK, with ginger in her rhubarb and ginger sorbet, a marriage made in heaven. But fiery ginger can easily overwhelm and she advises that less is more for this recipe. I love the pretty pink colour she has achieved in her finished sorbet; it looks so pretty!

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Soma is the author of the vibrant eCurry blog, home of Indian recipes and more. Her blood orange granita with ginger and orange mint is suitably colourful and really brought to life by Soma’s beautiful photography. And I was intrigued by her mention of her new orange mint plant. I’ve grown peppermint, spearmint and even chocolate mint, but had not come across this one before. Of course, I want to grow it myself now!

hotandchilli

Rosana, author of Hot & Chilli blog, is a party girl – whenever I see her she has a huge smile for the world and a glass of something tasty in her hand. So the fact that she’s turned to the national cocktail of her birth country, Brazil, for inspiration, is no surprise and her caipirinha sorbet with caramelised lime peel is rather appealing. The key components are cachaça, a liquor made from fermented sugargane juice, as well as sugar and lime.

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Given that the very name makes me giggle, I knew from the start that I had to make spoom! I decided on lemon spoom based on a classic lemon sorbet, mainly because I had some frozen lemon juice lurking in my freezer. To my delight, the addition of raw meringue to the sorbet really made a difference to the texture, making it smoother and lighter. I’ll definitely spoomify future sorbets, now I know!

kitchenprincessdiaries

Millie from Kitchen Princess Diaries made a gin and tonic sorbet. Not enough gin, she said, but otherwise very refreshing. She used a BBC GoodFood recipe which she followed exactly and you’ll find the link to it within her post.

comfortbites

As I said, we’ve had a lot of rain this month, but the sun has been shining now and then. I think Jo’s lemon and lime sorbet is just the ticket for a sunny day, light and refreshing. Jo, who writes the Comfort Bites blog, only recently bought herself an ice cream machine, and has busily been churning out ice creams such as blueberry, vanilla and chocolate, so I’m hoping she keeps up the momentum and enters upcoming challenges too.

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Unsurprisingly, given that his blog is called Pete Drinks, and he’s rather a fan of beer, my husband Pete decided on something beery. A Zebedee beer slushy, in fact. With no real idea on how to make it, he decided to pour a bottle of his homemade Zebedee Spring Ale into a plastic container and shove it into the freezer for a couple of days. Fortunately, with the help of a fork it flaked very well. As it froze, it separated a little, and the more concentrated beer defrosted to create a beery syrup that collected at the bottom of the glass.

belleaukitchen

Dom from Belleau Kitchen is my blog brother, that is to say our blogs share the same birthday, though he’s at pains to point out, in the blogging world at least, I’m the older, creakier one! His apple and rhubarb sorbet is the very essence of Britain, so it’s rather appropriate that he posted it on St George’s day. He adds cinnamon to complement the fruit and just enough sugar to retain the balance between sweet and sharp.

beatinglimitations

I had never heard of a Vitamix blender until I read Donna’s post on her blog Beating Limitations. But Donna is a huge fan and uses it to create everything from smoothies to curry paste to milling her own flour! For this month’s challenge, she used the blender to make a simple and refreshing orange sorbet, using honey in place of sugar to sweeten the mix. I bet the pear and honey sorbet she’s envisioning will be great too!

Donna has also been inspired by previous challenges, but missed the deadlines for the roundups, so I’d like to draw your attention to her cookie dough ice cream and her coconut pineapple ice cream posts, both of which look delicious.

allotment2kitchen

So many of us growing herbs really don’t make the best use of them, but that’s not something Shaheen, author of Allotment2Kitchen could be accused of. She’s put her rosemary to good use in popcorn, hot drinks, puddings and scones. I really like her idea to make lemon and rosemary sorbet, combining the sharp citrus flavour with the savoury, woody herb. Shaheen’s method is also a reminder that you don’t need an ice cream machine to take part in BSFIC as she puts her freezer and food processor to good use.

piglingbland

Tales of Pigling Bland is a great name for a blog, no? Taken from the Beatrix Potter book first published about 100 years ago, it’s written by Gill, who also goes by the nickname of Pigling Bland. Having wussed out of making ice cream last month, Gill created a chocolate cherry granita using up a store cupboard jar of cherries in brandy, as well as cocoa, sugar and water. She also added some cocoa nibs over the top of the finished granita “to make it even more grown up”.

sidewalkshoes

Pam, author of Sidewalk Shoes, loves all things frozen so just had to enter BSFIC when she found out about it. She turned to ice cream guru David Lebovitz’ book The Perfect Scoop, looking for a recipe she could make from ingredients already in the house. The chocolate coconut sorbet she made looks lovely and I particularly love her beautiful photography. Fans of cold deliciousness should read the next post too, in which Pam makes lemon frozen yoghurt.

sushijunki

There’s Proper Food In There Somewhere is the home of Jacqui aka Sushi Junki.  Jacqui’s entry makes me very happy because it completes the challenge options of sorbets, granitas, shaved ice desserts, slushies and spooms by putting forward a shaved ice dessert, something Jacqui fell in love with whilst living and working in Australia. Jacqui used her food processor to blitz ice cubes into ‘snow’ and then drenched the shaved ice with green tea syrup and condensed milk. She added sweetened adzuki beans, halved lychees and fresh ripe mango.

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Finally, Jennie from All the things I eat made a blackcurrant and cherry brandy spoom. She made a proper Italian meringue for her spoom, boiling up sugar syrup and adding it to the whipped egg whites and whipping some more. The sorbet was made using frozen fruit mixed with cherry brandy and lemon juice and blended into mush before being frozen briefly to make it a little more solid. Combining the two together resulted in a light, “frozen mousse” dessert.

howtocookgoodfood

I’m usually rather strict about the deadline – call it the school marm in me – but when Laura from How to cook good food dedicated her very first creation using the ice cream machine she was given for her birthday just a few days ago to the BSFIC challenge, how could I say no? So I’m adding Laura’s lemon and ginger sorbet to the round up a few hours late. Happy belated birthday, Laura!

 

And there we have April’s Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

 

Until I set the April Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge, I’d never heard of spoom.

But as I checked the definitions for sorbet, granita and shaved ice, I saw a mention of spoom and followed the link to spoom’s own wiki page.

I learned that spoom is a frothy sorbet, once very popular in England. Like sorbet, it is made from fruit juice, wine, sherry or port. As the mixture begins to set, it is mixed with Italian meringue. It is served in a tall glass, often with a little champagne spooned over the top. The name comes from the Italian spuma (foam).

Of course, I couldn’t resist! As I had some lemon juice in the freezer, I decided to make a lemon spoom.

Because I left things later than I planned, once I had made my sorbet I popped it into the freezer overnight, and continued the recipe the following day. Of course, that meant the sorbet had frozen too hard to easily mix the meringue into it, so I left it out to thaw a little while, then used my Magimix food processor to give it a blitz, thinking its motor would easily handle this. I was wrong, the blade stuck in the sorbet, slipped off centre and shredded the spindle very badly. I suspect the cost of repair will be prohibitive. *cry* So do give yourself time to finish the whole process in one go.

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Both Pete and I really loved the result, essentially a lighter style of sorbet with an incredibly silky, smooth mouthfeel. We tasted the base sorbet before and after, and were impressed enough with the results that I’d definitely ‘spoomify‘ sorbets in the future.

Note: As the egg whites are not cooked in this recipe, this may not be suitable for pregnant woman, or anyone with a weak immune system. You may wish to make an Italian meringue, cooking the egg white by adding sufficiently hot sugar or sugar syrup.

 

Lemon Spoom: (Meringue-Softened Sorbet)

Ingredients for sorbet
150 ml lemon juice
300 grams caster sugar
450 ml water
Ingredients for spoom
Lemon sorbet (above)
3 large egg whites
50 grams caster sugar
0.25 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method

  • Put the sugar and water into a pan on low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Once cool, churn the lemon syrup in an ice cream machine until it firms into sorbet.

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  • As the sorbet is churning, prepare the meringue:
  • Beat the egg whites until frothy and add the cream of tartar.

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  • Increase the speed (if you’re using a mixer) and add the sugar gradually.
  • Continue to beat the eggs until they form glossy, stiff peaks.
  • Once the sorbet is finished churning, tip into a large mixing bowl, add a third of the meringue and beat together. This should loosen the sorbet.

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  • Now carefully fold in the remaining meringue and mix together very gently.

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  • Either serve immediately, in tall glasses (with or without a little sparkling white wine spooned over), or pour the soft mixture into a suitable container and freeze for one to two hours.

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