The Chesapeake Bay region received another dusting of snow this week along with much of the Southeast. Although residents of Maryland can get a little crazy over the mention of snow (don’t even think about going to the grocery store), I can just imagine the pandemonium occurring in my previous home of New Orleans and other cities where they are not prepared or equipped for snow and ice. Just look at what happened in Atlanta! It is easy for those of us who live up North to giggle at a city that shuts down due to 2.5 inches of snow, but I try to remember how unprepared they really are.
The folks still digging out of the snow and ice probably are not thinking too much about ice cream and sorbet right now, but for those of you who would like to add some bright color and citrus pop to you winter days this sorbet is for you! Continuing with the theme of winter citrus, I combined tart lemons with earthy thyme in this lovely refreshing sorbet. Makes me think of warmer days. Enjoy!
Lemon Thyme Sorbet
Makes 1 quart
Although I strive to make a citrus sorbet that is scoopable out of the freezer, I have yet to make a lemon sorbet that does not freeze very hard. It is likely due to the high water content necessary to make a citrus sorbet. Corn syrup is added to this recipe to change the consistency and soften the sorbet a bit, but you still might find that you need to let it sit out for a few minutes before scooping.
6 to 7 small lemons, chilled
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Begin by removing the zest of two lemons in large strips using a vegetable peeler. Set zest aside. Combine 1/2 cup water, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add thyme to pan. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.
Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Strain sugar mixture through the sieve to remove thyme leaves, pressing on the back of the leaves with a spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. Add lemon zest and remaining 2 cups water. Cover and chill overnight.
When you are ready to churn the sorbet, juice lemons until you have measured 1 cup fresh lemon juice. Using a slotted spoon, remove zest from sugar mixture. Add lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When sorbet is the consistency of a barely pourable smoothie, stop churning and transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.