Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet

Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

My mother gave me some spices for Christmas. Three little bags from Oaktown Spice Shop: cinnamon, juniper berries, and ground black lemon (also known as Omani). I was able to find recipes using the cinnamon and juniper berries (still working on making some of my own gin…), but the black lemon was trickier. It’s a traditionally Persian ingredient, and I don’t know a whole lot of Persian cooking resources.

I wrote in to a few places, asked some intelligent minds what I should do with it, and I mostly came away with meat and fish. Rub it on meat and fish, put it in a stew with meat or fish. And even with those suggestions, I couldn’t really find any jumping off points, or recipes to start from or be inspired by. So the ground black lemon had been sitting sadly on my pantry shelf. Until last week, that is.

Last week, Portland had a little heat wave. Like, 93 degrees kind of heat wave. Yeah. I was itching to make ice cream. I have a flavor I’d been brainstorming, but decided, in the end, that instead of buying a bunch of heavy cream I would just buy Meyer lemons instead. So that’s what I did. And I decided to finally try using that lonely looking black lemon. And so today I give you Meyer lemon sorbet with black lemon.

Now, if you don’t have black lemon, don’t worry. You can still make a lovely Meyer lemon sorbet and it will be delicious. But if you are feeling curious, or you magically somehow do have black lemon sitting around, use it. It brings a nice, dare I say it, depth of flavor to this sorbet – something unique and hard to describe. The best words I can think of are that it’s a kind of dark citrus flavor… not necessarily sweet, but more complex than that. It lent a lovely je ne sais quoi to the sorbet. And I love that.

Meyer & Black Lemon Sorbet

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground black lemon (optional)
1 tsp Meyer lemon zest
1 cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 5 Meyer lemons)

Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and black lemon if you’re using it. Bring to a boil over medium heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve and the black lemon to steep. While that is cooking, in a heat-proof bowl combine the lemon juice and zest. Place a sieve over the bowl. Once the sugar is dissolved and syrup has become amber in color from the black lemon (again, if you’re using it), pour through the sieve into the lemon juice. Stir to combine, and place over ice bath to cool. Once cool, churn in your ice cream machine according to instructions. I churned mine for about 20-25 minutes. Pour into a container to freeze. Enjoy while sitting in the sunshine. Or with a bunch of friends, in your living room, playing Cards Against Humanity, like I did.

Leave a Reply