Lemon Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet

The hot weather is here, time for a cool dessert. Today's sweet treat for Lemon Sorbet is from the National Geographic cookbook Tasting Italy.

Walk in to any gelateria in Italy and alongside the gelato you will also find sorbet. Despite being made from just fruit, sugar, and water, it’s silky and creamy and melts in your mouth. Sorbet is particularly popular in Naples.

Today's simple dessert recipe can be made with or without an ice cream machine. We hope you will try this sweet treat on a hot summer day and let us know how it comes out. Send us your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will post on our FaceBook and Instagram accounts.

Lemon Sorbet

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus
1/2 cup juice (3 lemons)
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)


  1. Pulse sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 15 pulses. You can also use a blender. With the processor running, add water, vodka (if using), and lemon juice and process until sugar is completely dissolved, about one minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into large bowl; discard solids. Refrigerate lemon mixture until completely chilled, about one hour.

  2. Transfer chilled lemon mixture to an ice cream machine and churn until mixture has consistency of a thick milkshake, 15 to 30 minutes. If you do not have an ice cream machine, pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet and freeze until set. Break it up and blend in the food processor until smooth. Freeze and blend again for an ultra smooth consistency.

  3. Transfer sorbet to airtight container, pressing firmly to remove any air pockets, and freeze until firm, at least two hours. Serve. Sorbet can be frozen for up to five days.


Available for purchase on our online Shop, Tasting Italy - A Culinary Journey, features 100 innovative, kitchen-tested recipes and 300 beautiful color photographs. This illustrated guide takes you on a captivating journey through the rich history of Italian cuisine, region by region.

For a limited time, the exclusive Save Ellis Island tote bag is included with purchase of Tasting Italy. Graphics on the tote were designed by internationally acclaimed designer Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger.

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