There is one part of me that feels a sorbet post is a bit premature–spring has not officially arrived yet, after all. Early morning and evening breezes still have a crispness to them, not quite eliminating the need to carry a scarf everywhere I go. My car is littered with them for daytime temperatures have me shedding them by midday. Some days it feels like spring has arrived.
In my kitchen at least, spring has sprung. My Meyer lemon tree is bedecked with fruits but I have to compete against the deer to to enjoy them. My tree is not tall–it dwells in a sunny spot against the back of my house and the low eave limits its height, also limiting its yield. There is a walkway lining that part of my home and it is a prime stomping ground for the resident deer. It is not uncommon for me to be roused from sleep by rustling leaves outside only to see a mature buck with its huge antlers. It parades across my bedroom window as if this were the most normal thing in the world. In these parts, I suppose it is. So I grudgingly share my lemons with the deer.
Inspiration to make this simple sorbet arose out of a need to prepare something easy and with ingredients I already had available. I had leftover buttermilk, the Meyer lemons and a great desire to experiment with buttermilk sorbet.
I had no idea the two would pair so well together in a frozen treat. Buttermilk has a very distinctive flavor, one my husband is not particularly fond but he loved this sorbet. The recipe does not require a lot of lemon juice but the lemon zest stirred into the sorbet brightens this frozen treat in a big way. I also noticed that after 24 hours in the freezer, the buttermilk flavor mellowed some, allowing the lemon zest to truly shine. The former helped produce a creamy and smooth sorbet and my addition of Cointreau kept it from getting rock hard in the freezer. Not only was this scoopable, it was delightfully refreshing. I can see using this recipe as a base for other flavors in place of the lemon next time. Definitely a keeper.
* I spotted these Weck jars online a few months ago, fell in love with them and promptly ordered 12 in different sizes. Since they are freezer-safe I couldn’t resist using them for the sorbet. I’m still not brave enough to try canning (their original purpose) but I have used them for so many other things already. Canning…one day!
** This is the last post you will see here until I move to http://lemonsandanchovies.com. I have been talking about it for almost as long as I’ve had this blog. No big changes, just a different address. I hope you will follow me there when I move in.
Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet
* Recipe from Bon Appetit 2001 via Epicurious here
** The link above is for the original recipe. Based on recommendations I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup but I had to adjust the amounts for the 3 cups of buttermilk I had available. I also used proportionately less lemon zest and added Cointreau (vodka would work, too). This amount fit in my ice cream maker perfectly.
*** I also took different steps to prepare this but this worked very well for me.
- 1 1/8 cup sugar
- 3/8 cup lemon juice (about 3 oz)
- 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest (I recommend using a microplane grater to avoid the pith)
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau
- Stir together the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. I warmed mine in the microwave for about a minute to help dissolve the sugar.
- Add the buttermilk and stir until combined.
- Chill the mixture for a few hours (4 hours works)
- After the mixture has chilled, stir in the Cointreau before churning in your ice cream maker.
- Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Stir in the lemon zest before serving. I like my sorbet to be a bit firmer so I transferred in jars and froze for a few hours before serving. Makes a little over 3 cups.