Lemon Sorbet

The weather here in Britain is, at this particular moment, ridiculously warm; it’s so warm that I feel somewhat oppressed. Still, one mustn’t give up and resign oneself to inactivity; the weather won’t last too much longer, so something must be done. For instance, this lemon sorbet has an immediate cooling and refreshing effect which is simply ideal for such tropical conditions. I apologise for making it sound like some form of dermatological medicine, but fear not – it needn’t be applied liberally to one’s exterior. Simply take a scoop, as often as one can manage, and administer orally… this is one delicious sorbet!

My addiction to the ice cream machine is now complete; ice cream, frozen yoghurt and sorbet have each been tackled. The thing is, is that it makes the whole process so obscenely simple that the temptation to freeze ‘this’, ‘that’ and ‘the other’ is very nearly unbearable. Honestly, if you haven’t already, go out and purchase your very own machine – it’s sure to save you money in the long run. That is, unless you don’t particularly enjoy frozen desserts of any kind, in which case this recipe probably isn’t for you and you’ve just left 90% of the civilised world dumbfounded.

Everyone appears to have their own ideas about how lemon sorbet should be made and taste. Some don’t like it to be too zingy, some add egg white for a little more texture and some include the zest etc… As with most things, I tend to go down the middle with the simplest, purest version of the food in question; it should contain no egg, since it is superfluous and may actually detrat from the taste, and it should have all the punch and flavour available – only then will one have achieved sorbet perfection. Though, if you do decide to disagree with these ideals, one may reduce the amount of zest included and/or increase the amount of water used in relation to the amount of syrup. On with the recipe, enjoy!

Lemon Sorbet

Makes roughly 800ml


• 200g sugar

• 200ml water

• 7 lemons


1. Most lemon sorbet recipes start with a syrup, this one will be no different. Add the sugar to 200ml of boiling water, allow it to dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour in the juice of 7 lemons and the zest. The amount of zest to be added depends on how strong you want the flavour – I used the zest of 5 lemons, make sure it is very finely chopped. Leave to cool in the fridge.

2. Once the syrup is cooled pour it into a measuring jug and top up with water to around 800ml. Taste it, if it’s to your liking leave it and freeze it according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. If the taste is a little too strong or a little too weak for you adjust it with more lemon juice or more water. Defrost gently in the fridge before eating.

Cost: Lemons are extremely inexpensive at this time of year – I got enough fruit for this for £1, which is very cheap. Since it is also an extremely simple recipe it is a very cost effective way of enjoying sorbet. Indeed, the entire batch should set one back no more than around £1.30!


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99 comments on “Lemon Sorbet

  1. daisy
    August 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    What a refreshing treat! I love your complete surrender to the ice cream maker. Fun little gadget, isn’t it?


  2. sue
    August 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Wow….that works out really cheap. If you think how much they charge in a restaurant for a little scoop of sorbet as a dessert!!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I know, so good :D. The mark up can be ridiculous.

  3. cookinginsens
    August 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    So easy!

  4. Cressida Gaukroger
    August 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Ha! I am making sorbet for dessert this weekend too. It is like you read my mind. Looks delicious!

  5. putneyfarm
    August 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    One of our favorites…great photos, as always..

  6. Karen
    August 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Love the last photo…it looks so refreshing.

  7. on thehomefrontandbeyond
    August 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    very “cool”

  8. Conor Bofin
    August 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    We are also enjoying unbelievable warm weather here in Ireland. This is not surprising as we are just a short hop from Wales. I am sitting in the garden, drinking a pre dinner glass of Muscat and perusing the blogs. The weather usually breaks at 5.00 on a Friday. Not today.

    This is a very stylish post indeed. Lovely ingredients and lovely photography, as usual.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks, Conor! It’s so ridiculously hot! Yes, you are relatively close.

  9. Karista
    August 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I desperately need an ice cream machine. Love this sorbet and lemon is one of my fave flavors.

  10. thecompletecookbook
    August 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    🙂 Mandy

  11. idiosyncratic eye
    August 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Is it technically a sorbet if there’s no egg? I thought that without it was a water ice or granita. Still yummy though! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      It is indeed. Loads of people make it without egg. It’s about the texture, not the ingredients. This is definitely a sorbet as far as I’m concerned 😀

  12. makingitwithdanielle
    August 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Looks so refreshing and delicious! I love making sorbets, will have to try this!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks, Danielle! They are so easy and fun 🙂

  13. Promenade Claire
    August 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Looking good frugal !!

  14. lambyknits01
    August 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I puckered immediately! 😉 Beautiful color and I love real lemon flavor – not that candy lemon stuff. This sounds lovely 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Haha! Thanks! Yes, real lemon is the best way!

  15. Playful and Hungry
    August 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    This looks so refreshing… I have to remember to get some lemons!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Yes do, it’s so wonderfully delicious and flavourful.

  16. kelleychisholm
    August 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    This looks so refreshing! What brand of ice cream maker did you buy? I’ve been thinking about getting one myself – this post may just be the push I need!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks! It’s a philips one… quite old actually… stole it off my grandmother :D. I don’t think it’ll matter an awful lot… Definitely get one!

  17. amy@afternoonpopcornsnack
    August 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Sounds so refreshing and delish!

    • frugalfeeding
      September 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thanks! I can’t imagine anything more refreshing than this!

  18. Razel
    August 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Yum! That looks and sounds so refreshing 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      September 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thanks! It was so utterly refreshing… in fact, I’ve never been so refreshed in my life 😀

  19. kanzensakura
    August 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    This is lovely – one of my favorite things. I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks for stopping by again! I finally did the thumbnail up larger of you and you look so much like my dear 3rd cousin Bill who lives in New Jersey, up in Yankee land, it tain’t funny. Love your blog.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      Thanks! Haha, perhaps I have a doppelganger, though I have a new haircut…

      • kanzensakura
        September 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

        I made this this weekend for a holiday (Labor Day) cookout. It was a rip roaring success and several people asked for the recipe. I was happ to pass it along and how I obtained it. It truly is a lovely dessert and is going to become one of my go-tos.

        • frugalfeeding
          September 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm

          Awesome! Thanks for passing it onto them – it’s a truly amazing sorbet. I just can’t wait to try another sorbet… perhaps a last hurrah for the summer!

          • kanzensakura
            September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

            Maybe a last hurrah for the summer….but I can tell you, it is going to be a major hurrah for our Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas, and Easter…..and times in between. I really enjoy sorbets and love the flavor of lemon. this is the best lemon sorbet recipe I have come across. I cannot thank you enough for sharing it. Just know it is going into my Hall of Fame Recipe book. And since I have the pic from your blog, I can cut and paste the credit for it accordingly, because I do like to do that. I have also forwarded to my cousin Billy to see what he thinks about having a doppleganger across the pond.

          • frugalfeeding
            September 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

            Haha – quite. I can’t wait to make more sorbet! I’m so glad you like my recipe so much – I would appreciate the credit please! I think it’s funny you think we look so alike… 😀

          • kanzensakura
            September 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

            Trust me, you have the credit for it. You deserve it! I’m getting ready to post the 11/16 Club in a day or so. You might find it funny, especially the parts about my cousin Billy.

          • frugalfeeding
            September 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm

            Thanks! I shall be on the look out!

  20. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    August 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    This looks so wonderfully refreshing! I just adore lemon too!

    • frugalfeeding
      September 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Thanks! Lemon is incredible, especially on very hot days.

  21. NickkiT
    August 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    You have made me realise I really do need an ice cream maker! I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one for years..I may have to start dropping hints to Mr T 😉 I love sorbet and this looks very refreshing.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      You do! They are very cheap. I’m glad you like the look of my sorbet!

  22. Michelle
    August 11, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Beautiful photos, Frugal! Funny, too, that you’re sweltering just when our weather has cooled down for the first time in months.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! Unfortunately I’m not at home at the moment so they’ll take a hit…

  23. Elaina @ Flavour
    August 11, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Wow, what a perfect summer treat!!! I swear, your food photography gets more and more beautiful with every post…complimenting your beautiful frugal recipes 🙂 x

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      I’m glad your liking my photography – I feel like I’m getting better too. Plenty of room to improve though.

  24. thekalechronicles
    August 11, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Our lemons are almost ripe and we have had two days of weather warm enough for swimming. Perhaps I’ll make this soon.

  25. emmycooks
    August 11, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I wish I had a scoop of that right now! It looks like just the thing for a hot summer night.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      It was! It cooled me down very well indeed.

  26. Stephanie
    August 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Wow! I have been on a big citrus kick recently, and this looks wonderful!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      Thanks! There’s nothing like a little citrus for a bit of refreshment.

  27. Kathryn Darvill
    August 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Really can’t beat a good lemon sorbet on a hot summer’s day. Excellent pics also!

    • frugalfeeding
      September 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

      You really can’t – it was perfection…

  28. danyandy
    August 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    lovely photos! This makes me want to get an ice cream maker 😉

  29. egg me on
    August 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome photos, man! Sounds like a really great sorbet. Love all the zest.

  30. Márcia Gonçalves
    August 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    What a lovely and refreshing treat! Too bad I don’t have an ice cream machine…

    • frugalfeeding
      September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Thanks! You can make it without. Simply freeze it, but break it up every hour with a fork.

  31. glutenfreehappytummy
    August 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    yay for warm weather! this sounds so refreshing and like it would hit the spot!

  32. thesparechangekitchen
    August 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    This looks delicious. Will definitely be getting an ice cream maker for summer!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks! You definitely should – a truly worthy investment.

  33. musingmar
    August 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Your sorbet looks so refreshing, and lemon is the ultimate flavour for an icy treat on a hot summer day. I tried a Meyer lemon sorbet last winter and for some reason it turned out bitter. Time to brush off that humbling experience and take another run at lemon sorbet. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      Thanks! Hmm, did your syrup have enough sugar in it?!

  34. accordingtocarey
    August 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Anything citrus makes my tastebuds tingle… in a good way!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      Not to be crass, but have you tried original source shower gel? I’ve heard it makes certain parts of one’s anatomy tingle… apparently the lemon one is best – it contains the juice of 5 lemons I think. Don’t eat it.

  35. Aimee@clevermuffin
    August 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Well, it’s currently 6 degrees outside in, ehem, ‘sunny’ Australia. But, I am convinced. When summer roles in in a couple of months (when you start making soups again) I’m going to get me an icecream maker. In fact, i’m putting it on my b’day list…

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Haha – it can be sunny and cold :D. I’ll so a soup ice cream?!

  36. NativeNM
    August 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I definitely need to get an ice cream maker because that looks so good! Beautiful photos!

  37. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    August 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I’m catching up on blog reading (computer is now running almost at optimal speed) and am delighted to have made it to the Letter F.. bringing me to Frugal Feeding and this post! I’m in dire need of something refreshing after all that reading and this is just the sort of recipe that would do the trick! I’m with you on the simple “purity” of ingredients and would love to make this. It’s atrociously hot here as well and I couldn’t think of a better cooling agent.. except my ice-cream maker is at home. I know, I know.. what was I thinking, it should have been packed first!! xx Smidge

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Haha! I like that you have it alphabetised… Purity is key when making things like this. Simplicity requires purity. This would certainly see you through!

  38. Korena in the Kitchen
    August 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I agree – sorbet should be all about flavour, and in the case of lemon, full of zing. I was in Las Vegas last week (the desert in August, what was I thinking?!?!) and I’m wishing I had a giant bowl of this to carry around with me at all times. It looks so refreshing.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Exactly! That must have been very warm… it was so refreshing.

  39. naturalbornbaker
    August 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Delicious! I have just gotten into making my own ice cream too. We just found an old ice cream maker that’s hand-cranked. The outside is a big old wooden bucket, but it works great ! Can’t wait to try your raspberry ice cream too 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks! That’s such a cool thing to find. I want 😀

  40. theintrepidbaker
    August 16, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Wow!!!! Can this be done without an ice cream maker? I struggle to get 4 lemons for £1. I should move out of London 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Yes! You have to keep taking it in and out of the freezer and scraping it with a fork. You should… 😀

  41. Somer
    August 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Oh my, thanks for keeping your promise to post this!

  42. Hot Pink Manolos
    August 20, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I’ve gone all summer without breaking out my ice cream maker…might have to for this one.

  43. thelittleloaf
    August 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

    This sorbet looks mouth-puckeringly good, yum!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks, Loaf! It was so yummy – definitely made me pucker…

  44. Maya Oryan
    September 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    So cool!

  45. allyoudoiseat
    September 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

    All your recipes look so divine! This one looks gorgeous and I bet it tastes delicious! Can’t wait to try it out

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