Orange and lemon sherbet

Tasked with making a lemon sherbet taste ‘a bit like orange’ left me only one option: better make orange and lemon sherbet then! Lighter and zingier than ice cream, but smoother than sorbet, it’s the refreshing balm that your palate needs right now.

My instagram feed’s full of crispy charred local pizza offerings and it doesn’t take much to turn my head, food wise. So, buoyed with confidence after making a few cheese-stuffed flatbreads last week – and remembering how quick they are to knock up – I figured that homemade pizza would be just as easy! Naturally, I turned to ‘those wot know’ and dusted off Jamie’s Italy (did you know he had his own?).

However, to state the obvious, it’s a tad scorchio today – as it was yesterday and the day before, and is likely to still be tomorrow; hence, the prospect of dough pounding and a hotter-than-hot oven lost its appeal. Instead, I was drawn to Jamie’s recipe for special lemon sherbet; described as lemon sorbet but with a dash of cream (or in Jamie’s case, mascarpone cheese), which invites a slight fizz on the tongue.

I mooted the suggestion to my son. ‘Will it taste like my lolly?’ he asked hopefully.
‘Well, what did “your lolly” taste like?’
‘A bit like orange…’

The prospect of having to make lemon sherbet taste a bit like orange left me with little choice: orange and lemon sherbet it must be!

Now, I know we’re not the only ones with a penchant for a cheeky G&T, so I’m equally sure that the obligatory lemon slice accompaniment means that lemons are a standard fixture in everyone’s fruit bowl. I guarantee, therefore, that you’ll have all the following ingredients on hand to knock this up pronto: the definition of a quick and easy recipe. And you’ll be glad you did when the sweaty, muggy post-dinner slump hits!



  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 220ml fresh lemon and orange juice combined
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme, lemon verbena or bay (optional)
  • 1 heaped tbsp double cream or mascarpone


Place a shallow container in the freezer, ready to chill down the mixture when it’s ready for freezing.
Add the water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes to make a syrup. Remove from the heat, add the thyme and then leave to cool for about 15 minutes (obviously, cool is a relative term as nowhere is cool right now!)

I used thyme but lemon verbena would be delicious too

Next, remove the thyme sprigs and add the juice and zest. Stir and have a little taste to check the balance is to your liking. If your lemons are particularly sharp, or you used less orange, you might want to add more sugar; but if it’s a tad too sweet then add more lemon juice.

Stir in the cream ’til the mixture is a smooth even colour, then pour into your pre-chilled container. Freeze for an hour, then remove from the freezer and stir with a fork, before returning it to its icy cave. Repeat for the next three hours, then leave to firm up. It doesn’t set hard so is ready to go when you need it – hurrah!

4 thoughts on “Orange and lemon sherbet

  1. Jane Chandler

    Well, this is a winner, isn’t it. I really like that it doesn’t set too hard, a real bonus. I’ll try making the sugar syrup with eurithritol or allulose to make it sugar-free, which could work as I’ve seen recipes for sugar-free meringue using these ingredients. Really like the addition of fresh thyme

    1. Mandy Post author

      Glad you like the look of this mum; you’ll have to let me know how you get on with the sugar substitutions – it might impact the texture, as I suspect it’s the sugar that stops it setting hard. A definite taste of Italy though 🙂

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