Want to wow the guests at your next dinner party? Dazzle the crowds with the perfect citrusy palate-cleansing sorbet.
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Palate cleansers are huge in the fine dining world. One of the more common interpretations of a palate cleanser is in the form of an elegant sorbet.
Take the fine dining experience into your home kitchen with this delicious, light, and citrusy limoncello palate cleansing sorbet recipe. This recipe is super friendly to those with dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan). You'll be shocked by how easy and mess-free it is to make this super tasty frozen treat.
Sorbet is a beautiful frozen treat. To classify as a sorbet, there must be no dairy products used in production. The best sorbets are smooth and velvety in texture. Just like this recipe, a mixture of water, sugar, and fruit juice is the standard for sorbet. Check out this article about 11 types of ice creams and frozen desserts if you want to learn more about sorbet and ice creams.
If you're interested in learning more about sorbet, be sure to check out this post about 10 types of sorbet recipes.
What You'll Learn in This Recipe
- What makes sorbet unique from other frozen desserts.
- How to use sorbet as a palate cleanser for fancy dinner parties.
- Tips for making sorbet in an ice cream machine.
Ingredients You Need
Water: Sorbet by definition is a dairy-free frozen treat. Because of this, in substitution for a cream or a milk product, water is used as the main liquid.
Limoncello: Limoncello adds a great flavor and is perfect for creating an Italian-inspired sorbet. Be careful not to use too much limoncello or the sorbet will not freeze due to the high volume of alcohol.
Granulated Sugar: Sugar not only helps sweeten the sorbet but also lowers the freezing point, thus preventing the sorbet from becoming completely rock solid when freezing.
Lemon: Using fresh lemon juice and zest makes for the best citrus flavor.
Orange: Just like the lemon, fresh zest, and juice make for better flavor. If you happen to have access to blood oranges in season, you can substitute those instead.
Fine Sea Salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer. Adding a bit of salt to a sweet dish emphasizes the flavors in the sorbet, rather than the flavor of sugar being overpowering.
How To Make This Recipe
With a few easy steps and a bit of patience, you will be enjoying this incredible citrusy Italian palate cleanser.
Make The Sorbet Base
1. In a large bowl, combine water, limoncello, granulated sugar, the zest and juice of one lemon, the zest and juice of one orange, and fine sea salt. Whisk the mixture continuously until all the sugar and salt have fully dissolved into the liquid.
2. After combining the ingredients, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool. It is super important to let the mixture cool before putting it in the ice cream maker.
3. Achieving a temperature of 40-42º F (4-5º C) before churning ensures that the sorbet will achieve its proper consistency. At-home machines aren’t as powerful as industrial ones, so cooling the mixture helps guarantee the sorbet will properly freeze. It should take about 3 hours in the refrigerator for the mixture to drop down to temperature.
4. Once the mixture is cool enough, it is time to churn. Be aware of the type of ice cream machine you have at home. Many home machines require freezing the churning bowl for at least 24 hours before churning. If this is the case, it is a great idea to set a reminder the night or the day before you plan to make your sorbet. There is nothing worse than having your sorbet mixture ready to go only to realize that you have to wait another day to enjoy it.
When churning the mixture, be sure to follow the instructions that come with your specific mixer. My ice cream machine takes 25 to 30 minutes to churn.
After churning, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container. Allow the sorbet to set in the freezer for another 3 to 4 hours. Sorbet is placed in the freezer after churning because it has to drop further down in temperature. Ice cream machines will only bring the mixture to a soft serve consistency, so the sorbet needs time in the freezer to reach the proper consistency.
After the sorbet is chilled, you can serve the delicious palate cleanser. I love to serve the sorbet in a chilled bowl or a chilled martini glass.
Serve As A Palate Cleanser
If you have ever dined at an upscale restaurant that serves multi-course dining experiences, chances are you’ve had a sorbet as one of those courses. Sorbet is a great choice to use as a palate cleanser.
Palate cleansers are used to neutralize the food residue from the tongue to help the guest more accurately taste a new flavor. Typically, you’ll see this used in between heavy or greasy courses (like meat dishes).
Although some experts argue that sorbet palate cleansers should not contain sugar, I found the light and refreshing citrus flavor in this recipe still makes for a great palate cleanser.
- Place your storage container in the freezer before storing the sorbet. This will allow the container to keep the sorbet nice and cold after it comes out of the ice cream maker.
- The best way to store sorbet is in the back of the freezer in a long, plastic Tupperware. You want to keep the ice cream at a cold, stable temperature to prevent the sorbet from becoming icy and grainy.
- You can make the sorbet base ahead of time and store the mixture tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours ahead of churning.
First, make sure that you have refrigerated the sorbet mixture for at least 3 hours prior to churning it in the ice cream maker. If you've done that, and it still isn't freezing, place the liquid sorbet mixture in the fridge and allow it to sit overnight.
The mixture needs to be fairly cold (around 40-42°F or 4-5º C) before you place it in the ice cream machine.
Also, depending on the make and model of your ice cream machine, you may need to churn the sorbet for longer than 30 minutes.
There are sorbet recipes out there that don't require an ice cream maker. However, I've found that the best sorbet texture is created when using an ice cream maker. So for this recipe, you'll need to have an ice cream maker.
It's best to serve sorbet in a chilled glass or chilled serving bowl. It helps keep the sorbet from melting.
This sorbet recipe will last 1-2 weeks in the freezer. However, be warned. The longer the sorbet sits, the less prominent the limoncello flavor becomes.
More Frozen Treats
Try out some of my other favorite frozen dessert recipes:
Orange Limoncello Sorbet
- ice cream machine
- Add water, limoncello, granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, orange peel, orange juice, and fine sea salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until the granulated sugar is fully dissolved.
- Cover mixture, and set aside in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or up to overnight. The temperature should reach 40 - 42°F (4 - 5°C) during this time.
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions, about 25 - 30 minutes.
- Transfer sorbet to an airtight container, and allow it to set in the freezer for an additional 3 - 4 hours. Serve in a chilled bowl or martini glass.