Overcoming a dilemma: vodka lemon & lemon verbena sorbet

To be honest – I was often not only a little bit disappointed by my home made ice creams during the last years. The problem is that I have this perfect silky texture in my mind, known from restaurants and good ice cream shops, which I can achieve almost entirely by serving the ice cream directly out of the machine. Once the ice cream was frozen down all those tiny crystals pop up in my desert, remembering me that my ice cream is in the end “only home made” although the flavours were mainly really good. I gave a few tricks a go – e.g. adding different starches as some authors recommend, but I hate this starchy after-taste. The only trick that worked for me so far is lowering the freezing point by adding salt (salted caramel ice cream) or alcohol (Irish Cream liqueur, egg liqueur … ). An “alternative” would be to invest a Pacojet to blitz up single ice cream portions just before serving as professional restaurateurs do it – but therefore we should win in the lottery first.

So far my dilemma with ice creams. The dilemma with sorbets is not as grave since you can always serve them with a bit of sparkling wine to cover the crystals and make the sorbet tenderly melting in your mouth. I love sorbets as desserts, especially after rich dinners. This summer I experimented for the first time with a recipe including an egg white in the sorbet mix – and it worked phenomenally! I found the base mix for the sorbet in a food blog (http://www.kochtopf.me) where the author seems to have a lot of knowledge, endurance, patience and practice in producing ice creams and sorbets. I modified the recipe a bit an ended up with a delicious vodka lemon & lemon verbena sorbet that is really worth to share it with you!

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Ingredients for 1 litre sorbet:

  • 200 g water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g sifted lemon juice
  • finely grated zest from 2 -3 lemons
  • 50 ml vodka
  • chopped leaves from 2 stalks of lemon verbena
  • 1 stiffly beaten egg white

Preparation:

Heat water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved to produce a sugar syrup. Let it cool down, add lemon zest and verbena and leave everything at room temperature overnight. The aromas have now time to slowly flavour the syrup.

In the next morning add the lemon juice and afterwards pour the syrup through a fine mesh to eliminate all solids. Add the vodka. Chill everything in the fridge. Before you freeze the sorbet in your ice cream machine add the egg white. In the beginning the egg white will sit on top of the sorbet mix and looks clumpy like it has ruined your work – no worries! During the process of freezing the egg white will be incorporated homogeneously. For freezing follow the instructions of your ice cream machine.

The sorbet is perfect on it´s own – no need to add any extra fancy toppings!

I think I am prepared now to face (and hopefully overcome) my ice cream dilemma as well.