As we know from Some Facts About Ice Cream, sorbet contains more sugar but less fat than ice cream, is non-dairy, and is usually flavored with fruit. Because you don't have to prepare a custard as part of the process, sorbet making is incredibly easy. The basic formula is water + sugar + flavor = sorbet. You don't even need an ice cream maker to get good results
Lemon sorbet is a classic, so we'll start there. Later, I'll also offer recipes for sorbets using herbs, as requested in yesterday's open thread.
Basic Lemon Sorbet
Makes 2 pints, or about 5 cups
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
In a small saucepan over medium flame, combine the water and sugar and boil for about 1 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest, and pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker*. Freeze according to manufacturer instructions. When sorbet is frozen (it will still seem quite soft), transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.
*If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can also simply transfer mixture to a 13-inch x 9-inch metal baking pan. Freeze until firm (about 2-3 hours), stirring with a fork each half hour.
More sorbet recipes:
• Recipe: Spiced Apple Sorbet
• Recipe: Spiked Lemon Sorbet
• Recipe: Basil or Mint Sorbet