Meyer Lemon Sorbet

DessertMeyer LemonSorbet

Intensely lemony, this crisp Meyer lemon sorbet is like making lemonade with a detour through the ice cream maker.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Making lemon sorbet is like making lemonade with a detour through the ice cream maker. Easy!

We pulled down several Meyer lemons last week to avoid the freeze that hit here in California and I’ve been thinking up things to do with them. As a major lemonade fan, lemon sorbet was a logical choice.

Lemon sorbet is pretty intense — sweet and acidic. I can see why it is often used as a palate cleanser between meal courses. It is best eaten in small amounts.

An added benefit of having some around in the freezer is that if you happen to be in the mood for lemonade, you can take a few scoops and mix it in with some water, and voilà, instant lemonade.

Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Lemon mixture chilling time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups

This sorbet can get rather icy if frozen for more than a day or two. If you want a softer, less icy sorbet, try adding 2 teaspoons of limoncello or vodka to the mixture before it goes into the ice cream maker.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed juice from meyer lemons (about 3-4 lemons)


1 Make simple syrup, let cool: In a small saucepan on medium high heat, make a simple syrup by heating sugar, lemon zest, and water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, let cool, strain out the lemon zest.

2 Add lemon juice, then chill: Mix in the lemon juice. Chill, either in the refrigerator, or by placing in a metal bowl over an ice bath.

3 Process in your ice cream maker: Once the mixture has thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture into a shallow pan and freeze in your freezer until semi-solid. Then take a fork and fluff it up, returning it the the freezer to freeze firm. Then put in a food-processor or blender to process until smooth.

Place sorbet in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

4 Serve: Scoop out preferably with a melon-baller. Garnish with mint.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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20 Comments / Reviews

No ImageMeyer Lemon Sorbet

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Cortney

    I made this for our Valentine feast and it AMAZING!! I only added 3/4 cup of sugar, based on previous comments about the sweetness. Next time I’m going to try a 1/2 cup! My husband loved it, but he has a super “sweet tooth” and I’d like to see if more of the fresh lemon flavor comes through with a bit less sugar. I used our Cuisinart ice cream maker and the consistency was perfect! I did have to freeze it for 4-5 hours, so plan ahead. Overall it was quite easy with delicious results. It’s a keeper!


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  2. chefJeff

    I use the one from SNO since it has an actual compressor unlike the CuisineArt ones which are just a stirrer that depends on the coldness of the bowl to freeze any contents and does no cooling itself. The one from Sno come with a this cylinder shaped container and is cooled by the machine itself just like with the expensive machines. You can also get extra container it prepare one batch while the first one is freezing. I can get my batches to the hard stage and not just the soft stage of limited models like those from CuisineArt that are just transferring heat from the mixture to the bowl and stirring. I alos do not have to have bowls in the freezer but just place in in the refrigerator while preparing a batch to cool it and start up the machine and go since the machine will continue to cool it further unlike those other machines which depend 100% upon the bowl and can not remove any heat. It can be 80 degrees in the house and I can still make nearly (needs to be just soft enough to transfer) solid sorbets and ice creams and not mushy ones.

    I’m probably going to add some basil to the simple syrup and then strain it. It works well from Lemonade so it should work for lemon sorbets as well just use much less water.

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  3. Michelle and Kerry Luff

    My name is Michelle and I am 12 years old and I live in Australia. My mum Kerry and I tried this recipe and it turned out fantastic. Please keep on coming up with great recipes like this.


  4. Ellen

    I was sceptical when I saw that you needed to fluff the partially frozen mixture with a fork if you did not have an ice cream maker. I did not think it would give the same yield. worked so well, but I fluffed it 4 times before putting into my Cuisinart food processor. I tried the blender first, after having put it in the freezer…scrap that. The food processor gave me the perfect texture. You do have to work like lightning, though, to make sure it doesn’t melt. As for the recipe, I was short of the needed one cup of Meyer lemon juice, so I reached for a shot glass of Triple Sec….wonderful!! And I love the zest…the flecks add a tiny bit of extra color and flavor
    Thanks for the simple recipe. Can’t wait to make other sorbets with this method!


  5. Reba

    As always, when googling for a quality simple recipe such as this, Simple Recipes came up at the top. I was so excited to see Meyer Lemons at my local Whole Foods (in Indiana) and so I grabbed three and came home to see what I could do. I have to say I’m slightly obsessed with their floral perfumy scent and taste. I made sorbet to try to get a real feel for their flavor and I’m in love with this recipe. I’ll probably go back to find more and attempt a lemon tart. Thanks again for a quality recipe.


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