Fresh Lime Sherbet

Every week when I sit down to make the grocery list, I ask Shane what he needs, and one of the first things out of his mouth is always ice cream. It’s his dessert of choice, and whether it’s homemade or store-bought, we always have some in the freezer. I guess since he’s constantly in training for the next marathon or triathlon, it’s a little easier to justify :)

For the other member of this house that’s not working out 20 hours a week, eating that much ice cream just isn’t feasible. It doesn’t mean I’m not tempted though, so I like to keep lighter alternatives on hand, especially in the summer when the cravings for cold desserts are strongest. I make a lot of fruit sorbets, and sometimes orange sherbet, which up until now had always been my favorite.

Fresh Lime Sherbet

I’ve been on a massive lime kick lately though and had a ton sitting around so when I went to make sherbet recently, I decided to try lime. As a kid when we bought rainbow sherbet at the store I never would have dreamed of touching the lime portion, and really it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I stopped hating all things lime. Things have definitely changed – now I seek out new ways to use limes in both savory and sweet applications as much as possible!

This lime sherbet was a very good find, it’ll be in heavy rotation in my freezer this summer, probably topping orange as the go-to flavor. It’s super fresh, with a lighter texture than ice cream but a lot of the same creaminess. There’s a ton of lime flavor, yet it’s not overly tart. The sherbet is simple to make, though it did sort of have me wishing for an electric juicer by the time I got to the eighth lime, especially after the acidic juice found its way into a small cut I didn’t realize I had on one of my fingers…

I’m submitting this post to my friend Di‘s seasonal blog event, Cooking the Books. She asked us to share something to highlight our favorite book or author, and I went with my go-to source, Cook’s Illustrated. Their thoroughly researched and tested recipes rarely disappoint and I love that they share their process of getting to the end result, I always learn something!

Fresh Lime Sherbet
from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6-8 limes)
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vodka (or Triple Sec)
2/3 cup heavy cream

Combine the zest, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse 10-15 times, or until the sugar is damp and fragrant. Combine the lime juice and water in a large measuring cup, and with the food processor running, slowly add the juice/water mixture in a steady stream. Process for about 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved completely. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a freezer-safe bowl to remove the lime zest. Mix in the vodka and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in your freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until the mixture is very cold (about 40 F on an instant read thermometer). Don’t leave the mixture in there so long it freezes.

Remove the juice mixture from the freezer. Add the cream to a medium bowl and (by hand) whisk until soft peaks form. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the juice mixture (down the edge of the bowl rather than in the center) into the cream in a steady stream. Immediately add the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Mine took about 15-20 minutes to reach soft serve consistency.) Transfer the sherbet to an airtight container and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface. Freeze for at least 3 hours (or until firm) before serving.

Makes about one quart