What flavors to pair with Meyer lemon sorbet?
- Discerning1 Jun 22, 2011 02:03 PM
I'm using my prolific Meyer lemon tree to make lemon sorbet that will be frozen and served in the lemon shells.
Looking to accompany the beautiful little vibrantly yellow lemon halves with something...fruit, a fruit coulis, a small cookie? Any suggestions for an accompaniment to make the dessert even more visually appealing? What flavors work best with lemon essence?
Lucky you! My first thoughts were basil, raspberry or blueberry. How about a candied basil leaves and blueberry or raspberry coulis? Or edible flowers (i.e. tiny violas or lavender)? It would look stunning.
ETA: Fresh lemon thyme leaves or chiffonade of lemon verbena leaves would also look/taste great.
Lightly beat an egg white, dip clean basil leaves in it, shake off the excess and dip in superfine sugar to coat. Let dry on parchment (this is the same method for doing candied edible flowers - so gorgeous!). If you do not have superfine sugar just make your own by whirring regular granulated sugar in your food processor or blender.
What a great way to enjoy your bounty. I got six lemons off my Meyer this year, my first ever harvest and I treasured every one.
I like to top the sorbet filled cups with an italian meringue. You can then freeze the whole thing and brulee them right before serving. Another nice thing is candied citrus peel, chopped up and sprinkled over the sorbet before topping with meringue. Citron is really nice, or candied mandarin peel.
A simple langue de chat or gingersnap goes nicely too.
+1 for gingersnaps
- coconut tuiles
- miniature dark chocolate souffles
- white chocolate biscotti
- pine nut or macadamia nut brittle
- miniature blackberry or blueberry tarts
If you have access to fresh or frozen or good jarred sour cherries where you are, a sour cherry compote (simmer the cherries with some sugar and a little bit of water) is wonderful with Meyer lemon sorbet. If you'd prefer a coulis, you could puree the compote. I also really like blackberries and blueberries with Meyer lemon.
I like buttery things with lemony things so maybe a small decadently buttery shortbread cookie. I also like ghg's ideas, especially the mini berry tarts. I have never considered basil leaves before and am intrigued by all the other ideas coming up! Did you go with the candied basil leaves, Discerning1?
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful suggestions.
I ended up topping each serving with a candied basil leaf accompanied by lavender shortbread made with blossoms from the garden. My wonderful "sous chef " made the shortbread and cut it into leaf shapes. Elegant and the flavors were complementary.
It wasn't easy to candy the basil leaves, but um, yum, the flavor of sugar and basil together is divine.
FYI, my Meyer lemon sorbet technique:
Thinly slice 8 or more Meyer lemons, peel, seeds and all (helps if you have a tree) into a large nonreactive bowl. Add sugar (about half the volume of the lemons). Cover with plastic wrap and let the bowl sit at room temperature for several hours and then refrigerate for at least a day. Stir lightly now and then to keep the sugar from sinking. Taste when you stir and add more sugar if needed.
The fruit macerates over time, and the oil from the peel deeply infuses the lemon juice that is leaching from the fruit.
Cut several lemons in half lengthwise. Use a rotary citrus juicer to juice the halves. This action hollows out the lemon shells. Freeze the empty shells on a baking sheet. When they are frozen, plop them in a zippered plastic bag and keep in the freezer.
Add the additional juice to the macerating lemons, stir and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Taste. Add more juice or sugar as needed, keeping in mind that freezing diminishes the sweetness.
To know if the mixture is the right consistency to freeze, gently place a whole uncooked egg in its shell into the mixture. If the egg sinks, there's not enough sugar. When the egg floats so that a quarter-size area of the egg emerges, it's the right consistency. Adjust the juice and sugar as needed and, of course, remove the egg!
Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill. When it's chilled, zest a lemon and mix it in. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker. When you are ready to serve use an ice cream scoop to fill the frozen lemon shells.
This technique makes a deeply flavored, vividly yellow sorbet.