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.
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.
Lemon, Limoncello & Thyme Sorbet
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.
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.)
Gently heat the sugar, water and thyme together until the sugar is fully dissolved.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
You still have time to enter, so please do join in!