Frosty Lime Sherbet
The trick I use with lime sherbet is to use a bit of orange and lemon alongside fresh lime juice. It takes a bit of the edge off the lime and you end up with a sherbet that tastes like lime tangled with a Creamsicle.
Temperatures spiked to over 90°F this week in Los Angeles and the Santa Ana winds are here. Winds like these - hot, dry, strong, unpredictable - are unusual in June. They bring morning nose bleeds and turn palm fronds into ribbons that can cut. They’re both beautiful and disturbing. To keep doors and windows from slamming (and to keep the air circulating), I propped them open with rocks and my heaviest pots. Then I went to the garage and dusted off the ice cream maker for the first time this year and set to work making a simple lime sherbet.
The recipe is roughly equal parts plain yogurt, fresh citrus juice, and simple syrup. The trick is using a bit of orange and lemon to take just the right amount of edge off the lime juice. You end up with a lime sherbet that tastes like it tangled with a Creamsicle. In the recipe I let you know that I used 4 limes, 1 orange, and a big lemon. Basically, you want 1 1/3 cups of freshly squeezed citrus juice. That said, you can adjust the recipe based on what you have on hand. For example, bump up the orange juice if you’re short a lime. Just make the effort to freshly squeeze your fruit, it makes a difference.
Lime Sherbet Variations
Coconut Lime Sherbet: Swap out up to 1/2 cup of the yogurt for an equal amount of full-fat coconut milk.
Key Lime Sherbet: Substitute the juice of half of the limes with the juice of key limes.
Meyer Lime Sherbet: Substitute the juice of a Meyer lemon for the lemon called for. And add the zest as well.
I’m also going to mention one last thing we do with this sherbet. Take a tight, little scoop of the sherbet and place it in a small Picardie glass, or something similar. Top with a shot (or half-shot) of reposado tequila and enjoy asap. If this is already a thing - I think of it as tequila affogato (which means 'drowned' in Italian) - apologies in advance for not crediting. If not, it should be. Enjoy!
Frosty Lime Sherbet
I’ve also made this with 2% Greek yogurt, and the texture just wasn’t good - a bit chalky. So go for full fat plain yogurt here. *On the citrus juice front, you’re aiming for 3/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice.
- 1 1/3 cups fresh citrus juice* (from 4 limes, 1 orange, 2 lemons)
- 1 cup / 8 ounces / granulated sugar
- 1 cup / 240 ml water
- 1 1/2 cups / 12 ounces full-fat plain yogurt
- scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Start by zesting the limes, set aside. Now juice the limes, orange, and lemons. Strain, and measure out 1 1/3 cups of fresh juice (combine 3/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice) and refrigerate.
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, and when cool enough to handle, transfer to a jar and refrigerate until cool.
Combine the citrus juice, simple syrup, and yogurt in a medium bowl. Mix, using a hand blender, until smooth.
Freeze using manufacturer’s instructions in an ice-cream maker, adding the salt and lime zest when the sherbet is the consistency of thick frosting. Serve or transfer to a freezer immediately.
Makes about 1 1/2 pints.
*1 1/3 cup total: 3/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice.
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tequila affogato - absolutely brilliant! Must make this ASAP
This was incredible! So light and refreshing and SUPER lime-y, with just enough sweetness and tanginess from the yogurt to balance it out. My whole family loved it. Will definitely make again!
Love hearing it Helen!
Would you recommend non-Greek full fat yogurt then? I was confused as to whether its the 2% or the Greek part that you didn't like! Thanks!
Hi Morgan, use full-fat Greek :) The texture of the 2% was slightly off.
They look so satisfying. Homemade ice cream is the best for summers <3
This is SO delicious! Like key lime pie. I used 2 cups whole yogurt and 3/4 sugar. My seven year old is licking the bowl.
I made this today and it is unbelievably good! It's the perfect amount of tart and sweet, and the flavor is beautiful and complex thanks to the lemons and oranges. I love it!
Thanks Melissa - glad you're enjoying it!
Sounds delicious. I have full fat yogurt that I've been making but I usually strain it to get more Greek-style thickness. Do you think the texture issues from the 2% greek yogurt you used was from the lower fat or thickness? I can certainly pull 1.5 cups before straining . . Thoughts?
Hi Kimberly, you should give it a go - I suspect it will be really good.
David Leibovitz’s The Perfect Scoop has a recipe for lime sorbet. He suggests serving scoops of it with shots of tequila poured over and topped with sea salt. Great culinary minds thinking alike!
Well, I know what to make the next time I see him. lol.
Think I could make this vegan with all coconut milk?
It could be *really* good. I just haven't tested it yet. Report back please!
I have a question: If you don't have an ice cream maker, can I make this in a pan then into the freezer?
Hi Barb - you can try more of a granita technique - grate with a fork as it is freezing. Although I haven't tested it. If you try, let us know!