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Sorbetto di Limone

I don't like comercially produced sherbets or sorbets, and the few that I have tasted were too sweet and lacking real fruit flavor. I made a sherbet for the very first time using the recipe Annie posted and I was amazed at how good it was. It was smooth and creamy, with the perfect sweetness. It was so good that I knew I was going to make this recipe again using other fruits.

That was exactly two weeks ago and since then I've become the owner of an ice cream maker, made a mango sherbet, a milk chocolate ice cream from Dolce Italiano and received in the mail my copy of The Perfect Scoop. This is the book the Sunday Slow Scoopers are using for their weekly recipe during the next four months. I couldn't join them due to diet restrictions but I found on Lebovitz's book an abundance of recipes for sherbets, sorbets and granitas which I'll be making in the next couple of months.

The Creamy Lemon Sorbet recipe is from Gina De Palma's book, Dolce Italiano. The creaminess comes from Greek yogurt which imparts a nice smooth texture to the sorbet. The addition of limoncello produces a nice extra lemony flavor and sweetness. Gina notes that about an additional tablespoon of simple syrup should be added if the liqueur is omitted from the recipe. The only substitution I made was using agave nectar instead of sugar and simple syrup, adding it in 1/4 cup increments until it reached the sweetness/tart ratio I liked. In the end it came to about a total of 3/4 cup of agave nectar.

Sherbets and sorbets tend to melt rather fast. To help keep them solid for a bit longer, I put the dish in the freezer prior to serving.


2 medium lemons
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt, such as Total, classic or 2%
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons limoncello (optional)

Grate the zest of one of the lemons. Squeeze the juice of both lemons into a small bowl and strain it to remove any seeds or pulp. You should have 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Place the juice and grated zest in a blender. Add the yogurt and sugar and blend on medium speed to liquefy the yogurt, about 20 seconds. Add the syrup, water, and, if desired, limoncello and blend to combine thoroughly.

Freeze the sorbet immediately in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 3 cups.

Simple Syrup

3 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups water

Place the sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir the two together well to ensure that all of the sugar crystals are wet.

Place the pan over medium heat and cook until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely to room temperature before refrigerating.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups

Comments (13)

Yum Yum Yum!!! All of this gelato and sorbetto is killing me!! I would be interested in knowing the cholesterol levels of some of these delectable creations.

Ooooh, it all sounds SO delicious!


Ooh, glad you liked this. You know, the only problem I'm having now, is finding enough containers to store all this ice cream/sherbert - I want to make this too!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, this looks so good! I remember your post about your mango sherbet and Annie's recipe and her delicious looking Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet.

I wish I had both your talents. Can't wait to see what your next creations will be.

This looks really good. Great idea about putting the dish in the freezer.

My ice cream maker arrived, and I've got the canister in the freezer and hope to try it out for the first time this weekend. I am thinking of making blueberry since I bought some nice ones at the farmer's market yesterday. But I haven't decided if I'll do yogurt or buttermilk.

What kind of yogurt did you use in this lemon one? 2% or whole?

Girasoli: The only ingredient with cholesterol in this recipe is the Greek yogurt. Here's the link to the nutritional value of the brand name Total: http://www.fageusa.com/products.html#anchor_yogurts
I think you'll agree that besides the Classic (full fat) the rest are low in cholesterol. I'm also watching my cholesterol and that is why I didn't join the ST Scoopers.

Kim: I bought a bunch of small plastic containers sold by Glad and put a serving size in each. That way I avoid the temptation of over serving myself.

Kathy: Making these frozen desserts is so easy. You should give it a try some time.

Annie: I used whole because that's what I had on hand but I'm going today to get a big container of 2%.

I looked at this week's recipe from the ST Scoopers and I think I'm going to make the Piña Colada Sherbet but first I have to check the nutritional value of coconut milk. Did you order Lebovitz's book? There are some wonderful recipes for sorbets and sherbets that can be easily adapted to low cal/low fat. There's a Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet similar to the one you posted.

Yes, I ordered the book but it hasn't arrived yet.

I looked at that Pina Colada recipe too and it sounds really good.

I think I'm going to try 2% yogurt on my next batch. That batch I made with fat free was okay but not great; I think it will be better with a little bit of fat. I can't wait to try the new machine!

I don't know if you have a Trader Joe's nearby but they make a great Greek-style yogurt too. I sometimes buy it instead of Fage.

Annie: I usually buy the Greek-style yogurt at TJ but I ran out of it and bought whatever was in stock at the corner grocery store. Fage is good but a bit too expensive.

If you'd like to make the Piña Colada Sherbet I can email you the recipe.

Thanks for the info Maria. I am getting more and more tempted. My only other problem is space to store it since my kitchen is teeny tiny. We have a few greek yogurt choices here - all pretty expensive but deelish! I am a big greek yogurt fan and have tried to cut it out for the cholesterol factor. I suppose if I had small servings :)

Girasoli: You can make these frozen desserts without an ice cream maker. I didn't have my machine when I made my first sherbet. I followed David Lebovitz's recommendations on Making Ice Cream Without A Machine:

A little bit of Greek-style yogurt, about 1/2 cup, is ok on a low-cholesterol diet, no?

HI Maria, yes, I'd love for you to email the recipe. Thanks!

Maria, that looks yummmmmmyyy.
Could we all just give you flavor ideas; have you test them out; and then post your successful recipes?
Hey, why don't you write your own lactous-free frozen dessert cookbook? I'll host a book signing for you.

Hi Maria, just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to making the Pina Colada sherbet this week. Yum! I used organic reduced-fat coconut milk and it came out great. So refreshing in this heat wave we're having.

Thanks again for sending the recipe to me!

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