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unusual lemon-strawberry sorbet recipe

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The NY Times Magazine carried this a week or two ago. You remove the seeds from a lemon, chop it coarsely, then grind it up--rind, pith and all--with 2 cups sugar in the processor. Then puree 2 pounds hulled strawberries, combine with the lemon slush, add more lemon juice to taste, and freeze.

I made this over the weekend (with Seascape and Albion berries from Dirty Girl Farm at the SF Ferry Building market) and wasn't happy with the result. I think the main flaw is that the lemon pith gives a bitter undertone that I disliked. There's a reason that instructions for zesting citrus fruit caution against including the white pith; this recipe flouts that warning, and I think it's a mistake. If I do this again I'll use lemon pulp and zest, but not the rind.

(Would this be different with a Meyer lemon, rather than the Eureka I used? Maybe. But the recipe just said "lemon.")

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  1. I wonder if you let the lemon and sugar mixture sit overnight, and then proceeded with the recipe, if you wouldn't get a better product.
    I've tried making a lemon pie with thinly sliced lemons that are macerated overnight in sugar, with no offending bitterness. Letting them sit a full 24 hours is key though, less time yielded some bitterness.
    A Meyer would probably be great, but I'd still let it sit in sugar.
    It sounds like a very refreshing recipe, I might have to give it a try.

    1. I also read and was intrigued but his Amanda Hesser recipe. It reminded me of Shaker lemon pie, where you make the filling by thinly slicing meyer lemons and mascerating them in sugar overnight and then (I think) mix in some eggs.

      I'm doubtful that the pith of a regular lemon has an honest culinary application unless it is somehow preserved or candied.