The only thing that could possibly beat refreshing Italian limoncello on a hot summer day is limoncello-raspberry sorbet. This recipe is easily thrown together with an ice cream maker, but can also be made without one. We use Meyer lemon juice because it's sweeter and more suited for desserts, but you can use regular lemons — just adjust the sugar to make sure it's not too tart.
Try it after a light meal as the perfect palate cleanser. If you're feeling extra motivated, here's how to make your own limoncello. Buon appetito!
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 Meyer lemons, juiced, reserve the squeezed lemon halves
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup limoncello
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, pureed
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- Place water, zest, thyme and sugar into small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for one minute, then remove from heat.
- Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice through a sieve to remove seeds/pulp.
- Add 1/3 cup of limoncello to the juice. Combine the zest and the cooled sugar mixture with juice/limoncello mixture.
- Stir to mix and chill mixture in ice bath for 3 hours.
- Pour the mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to your manufacturer's instructions.*
- Meanwhile roughly mash 1 cup of raspberries with fork until soft. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and mix well, then set aside.
- Hollow out the squeezed lemons by removing the insides with a knife. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each lemon so it stands up. The lemon cups will be used to serve sorbet. If you plan to have 10 servings, use 5 lemons.
- Once the sorbet is ready, spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry purée followed by 2 tablespoons of lemon sorbet until the hollowed-out lemon cups are full. The top layer should be all lemon. Garnish with a raspberry on top. Return to the freezer for at least two hours.
*If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze the limoncello mixture in a container for 3 hours. After 3 hours, take out the mixture and break it up with a fork. Place back in freezer for another 3 hours, then remove from freezer and pulse mixture in a blender a few times (work quickly so the mixture does not return to liquid form). Return to the freezer one more time until the sorbet hardens (about 3 hours, depending on how cold your freezer is and the size/depth of your container). Note that sorbet is generally much softer than ice cream, and the limoncello will not allow the sorbet to completely harden.
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