lemon sorbet

When I was fifteen, I went on a summer family cruise to Turkey, Greece, and Italy. One stop in Sorrento and my love affair with lemons (and subsequently lemon sorbet) began. Sorbetto di limone, or lemon sorbet, as we call it, is a lemon dessert in its finest form. It is tart and sweet, icy and refreshing, and it is the perfect finish to a summer meal.

To make this sweet-tart, refreshing summer dessert, I called on my friends at Williams-Sonoma, who graciously lent me their Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor. This thing is a total beast and made the production of 128 ounces of this lemon sorbet (in bulk for Fizzi Fest) an absolute breeze.

What makes this ice cream maker different from its competition is that it’s completely hands-off. No rock salt, churning, or even really babysitting. It has a soft to hard setting that you can adjust (depending on if you’re making gelato, sorbet, or ice cream), and it’ll even alert you that it’s time to add the cookie dough (because what other mix-ins could there possibly be?). The cutest touch is that when it’s done, it plays the traditional ice cream truck song.

Growing up in Brooklyn, I have fond childhood memories of Italian ice, a kind of sorbet you most often eat on a street corner in a wrinkled paper cup. Sorbet is essentially a frozen, flavored simple syrup. If you have the necessary equipment, it’s essentially hands-off after the simple syrup stage. You can even make the syrup ahead of time, combine the ingredients together and process. Bellissimo!

lemon sorbet
4.21 from 24 votes

Lemon Sorbet (Sorbetti di Limone)

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lemon sorbet, sorbetti di limone
Prep Time 20 minutes
Processing time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Amanda


  • 1 and ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 and ¼ cup lemon juice


  1. Combine the 1 and ¼ cups water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 1 minute until all sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add zest to syrup, pour into a glass measuring cup or bowl and let cool in the freezer.
  4. When cool, add lemon juice and 1 cup ice-cold water (stir until ice meltto syrup, stir, and pour into bowl of ice cream maker.
  5. Process in ice cream maker according to directions.
  6. Transfer to a freezable container and keep in freezer up to one week.

Recipe Notes

You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

You’ll also need a lot of lemon juice to make 128 ounces of this sorbet.

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