This refreshing and easy Lemon Sorbet is the perfect warm-weather treat. Made with just 4 simple ingredients including Meyer lemons, you can easily make this dessert using your ice cream maker. Serve poolside in a glass or a hollowed-out lemon rind!
Meyer lemon season is one of my favorites! Not only do these juicy gems have the flavor of lemon, but they also have a great citrus flavor that pairs well in so many desserts such as lemon tea cookies or a moist lemon pound cake. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, no worries! You can make this lemon sorbet recipe with standard lemons too.
Lemons remind us of summer because they are bright, juicy, and refreshing. One bite into this sorbet and you will taste summer and feel the warm sunshine.
What is a Meyer Lemon?
A Meyer lemon is a breed of lemon that’s a cross between a pomelo and a lemon that’s native to China. Meyer lemons are perfect for dessert because they are much sweeter than a standard lemon. Many are the size of a medium orange and contain 2-3 times the amount of juice as a standard store-bought lemon. You can often reduce the sugar content in dishes to account for the sweeter flavor of the Meyer lemon. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can certainly use standard lemons and increase the sugar slightly.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- You’ll get to use Meyer lemons when they are ripe, fresh, and in season.
- It’s the perfect way to cool down after a hot day.
- Serve it as a palate cleanser at a dinner party.
- It’s the perfect dairy-free and gluten-free dessert.
- It takes just 4 ingredients to make, and one of them is water!
- All the work is done by your ice cream maker, making it foolproof.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Meyer Lemon Juice – These lemons contain plentiful juice that has classic lemon flavor paired with tart citrus for the perfect combination. You can substitute for standard lemons.
- Lemon Zest – The zest of a lemon intensifies the lemon flavor making it even more refreshing.
- Sugar – Sweetens up the sorbet and balances the tart and tangy flavors of the lemon.
- Water – Adds bulk to the sorbet and helps it emulsify.
How To Make Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Step 1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water and sugar. Add the lemon zest and heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 2. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
Step 3. Stir the lemon juice into the sugar syrup and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- You can use conventional lemons in place of Meyer lemons, but I highly recommend the use of Meyer lemons. If using conventional lemons, add an additional 1/4 cup sugar as they are much less sweet.
- A touch of alcohol keeps the sorbet from getting icy. Use a splash of vodka.
- Make sure you use the correct amount of sugar for this recipe that is measured properly as freezing does change the level of sweetness in sorbet.
- To make a super smooth sorbet, strain your lemon juice of any pulp before making the base.
- Hosting a dinner party? Serve the sorbet in a cleaned-out lemon rind to cleanse your palate and make a beautiful presentation.
- Sprinkle some chopped fresh basil or mint on top for a refreshing herb taste and beautiful green color.
- Make it a beverage all adults will enjoy by adding ⅓ cup of your favorite vodka or Limoncello to the mix.
- Mix Meyer lemon juice with orange juice or lime juice for a citrus flavor, just make sure the measure of the juice adds up to one cup total.
- Pour the finished mixture into popsicle molds for fun Meyer lemon sorbet popsicles. You can also add the mix to ice cube trays for refreshing ice cubes for sparkling water during the summer.
Making Lemon Sorbet Without an Ice Cream Maker
Don’t have an ice maker? Make a lemon granita by placing the base into a freezer-safe bowl and freezing for about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and stir the mixture well. Continue to set a timer for 45 minutes and repeat the stirring process until the entire mixture has turned into small scoopable ice crystals. This process will take about two hours to make.
More Sorbet Recipes
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Easy Lemon Sorbet
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- zest from one organic lemon
- 1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice*
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water and sugar. Add the lemon zest and heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups water. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Stir the lemon juice into the sugar syrup and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- You can use conventional lemons in place of Meyer lemons, but I highly recommend the use of Meyer lemons. If using conventional lemons, add an additional 1/4 cup sugar.
- This recipe makes about 3 cups.
This recipe originally published in January 2014. It was updated with new photos and tips in July 2021.