Thank goodness March is here! February was a particularly hard month for a lot of people I know. Hearing so much woeful news, it seemed like the darkest month all winter. But for the last several days in a row (at least where I live), the sun has been shining, and the snow has been melting. Spring is definitely on its way, and it's bringing with it the promise of new beginnings and in my kitchen, a spate of lemon recipes.
Recently, I came into possession of one too many bottles of limoncello. For my comfort level, I couldn't let them sit idle for too long. Something creative had to be done to consume it. I'm not so much a drink-it-neat or over-the-rocks type of person. Recipe searches and suggestions turned up tiramisu (which I made), or sorbet, or (for the least effort involved) poured directly over ice cream. That's about all I found. I wanted to combine these last two ideas to make something not too icy (like sorbet) and not too creamy (like ice cream). Sherbet to me seemed like a good compromise, refreshing and comforting. This sherbet has a grown-up, yet nostalgic flavor and a consistency akin to lemon push-pops. Believe what you will about whether or not all the alcohol is cooked off when making the syrup. Moderation is always key and ample enough a portion to bring comfort and cheer.
Limoncello Sherbetmakes 1 quart
1 cup limoncello
1 cup water
¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 4-5 lemons)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups whole milk, chilled
Combine limoncello, water, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while to dissolve sugar. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and somewhat concentrating the liquid into a loose syrup. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and cool completely. Chill limoncello syrup in the refrigerator at least four hours or preferably overnight. It should be at 40° F before proceeding to next step.
In a large glass measure, stir 2 cups limoncello syrup into 1½ cups whole milk. (Some curdling may occur so work quickly.) Pour the combined mixture directly into the canister of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.