I offer you a pair of recipes to answer the age-old question “oh my goodness, what on earth was I thinking buying all of these lemons and what the hell am I going to do with them?” Oh Costco, how often you force me to summon the wellspring of my kitchen charisma so that I may flick it, liturgically, on the remnants of your bounty lest we commit the sin of food waste.
Not that I’m complaining.
This is a sorbet with two faces - think of them as fraternal twins. The first twin is pleasant, fun, easy-going. Interesting, but never controversial. She’s the kind of gal you can invite to any gathering with confidence that she’ll probably get along with most everyone. She would always be there to help you move, but probably wouldn’t be up for a spontaneous trip to Wendover. Her sister, on the other hand, is one of those people who is consistently described as a “firecracker” and with good reason. She is always intense, always the one ordering another round of shots and challenging you to a taco-eating contest. She probably owns leather pants.
So, too, are the two preparations of this sorbet. Both are perfect, refreshing ways to bid adieu to summer, but the latter is rather intense because it derives quite a bit of extra citrus flavor from the alternative approach to the simple syrup. If you go this route, aim for substantially smaller portions or you will end up with a totally stripped tongue.
The candied lemons and limes are delicious in their own right and worth a try even if you don’t use the syrup to intensify your sorbet. They are sensational atop a bit of citrus-glazed salmon.
Candied Lemons and Limes
3 lemons, washed and sliced into 1/8” slices
3 limes, washed and sliced into 1/8” slices
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
- Bring sugar and water to a boil
- Add citrus
- Simmer 8 minutes
- Dry on parchment
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Gently drop in the lemon and lime slices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan, and simmer gently for 8 minutes or until the peels begin to look waxy and translucent.
Remove the pan from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the slices one at a time to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and dry. Reserve the liquid from the pan.
After 30 minutes, carefully lift the parchment paper (with the slices intact) from the baking sheet and set aside. Line the baking sheet with a fresh layer of parchment and sprinkle with a layer of granulated sugar. Gently transfer the citrus slices to the new parchment (I used a pair of tongs) and sprinkle with a bit more granulated sugar. Cool completely, and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Lemon Lime Sorbet
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Serves at least 6
Reserved liquid from the candied citrus above (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Zest and juice from 5 lemons and 5 limes
10-15 fresh mint leaves, washed, dried, and finely chopped
- Boil the sugar and water
- Measure out the reserve syrup, if using
- Mix in the rest
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from the heat, and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.
If you are not using the reserve syrup from the candied citrus above, skip the remainder of this paragraph and go to the next step. Measure the reserve syrup in a liquid measuring cup with at least a 2-cup capacity. Note the quantity, and add enough of the plain simple syrup you just made to bring the total liquid to 1 ¾ cups. Store the remaining simple syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use to sweeten lemonade, mojitos, whathaveyou.
Combine the syrup, juices, zest, and chopped mint in a plastic or earthenware container and mix well. Cover it and place it in the freezer. In 45 minutes, the edges will be starting to freeze. Give it a good stir, taking care to scrape down the frozen bits along the edges, and return to the freezer. Continue checking on it and stirring well every 45 minutes or so until it’s firm. This will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on how much you let the syrup cool when you took it off the stove. If you forget the interim stirring, eh. It will still be fine.
Serve with a slice or two of candied citrus on top.