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Limoncello sorbet that you don't need an ice cream maker to pull off

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Sweet, tart and a little boozy — limoncello-spiked lemon sorbet is the perfect pucker-worthy spring treat

Bright yellow lemons evoke sunshine and just lift your spirit. And even though they're sour, they are still one of the most popular ingredients in making desserts. Just add some sugar to balance the strong tartness, and let that lovely lemon flavor shine.

For this dessert, I'm sharing with you one of my favorite adult treats — lemon sorbet spiked with limoncello. (If you have kids eating with you, just don't add the limoncello.) What's great about this sorbet, besides the fact that you don't need an ice cream maker to whip it up, is that you don't throw the lemons away, because you can use them as the serving cups. That makes these lemon sorbet cups extra fun to create and serve.

Sweet, tart and a little boozy — limoncello-spiked lemon sorbet is the perfect pucker-worthy spring treat
Image: Rowena Dumlao-Giardina/SheKnows

Lemon limoncello sorbet in lemon cups recipe

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 2 hours | Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 4 big lemons (like Sorrento lemons)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 cup limoncello


  1. Slice a thin piece of the rind from the bottom of the lemon, just enough to make it stand up. On the top part, slice off a bigger piece, and reserve it. Remove the pulp by using a sharp knife between the pulp and the white pith to dislodge the pulp. Use a spoon to help extract the pulp.
  2. When the lemon cups are free of the pulp and clean, refrigerate them.
  3. Squeeze the pulp you removed, and save the juice. Discard the squeezed pulp. Each big lemon should generate about 1/4 cup of juice. If you don't come up with 3/4 cup from the used lemons, squeeze more lemons. Set aside the juice.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar on medium heat. Bring to a boil, let simmer for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let it cool. When it has cooled down, add the lemon juice, and mix well.
  5. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg white until stiff.
  6. Carefully combine the cooled lemon syrup with the egg white, and then add the limoncello.
  7. To a metal container, transfer the mixture, and freeze it for about 2 hours. Afterward, mix with a fork every half-hour.
  8. Scoop the sorbet into the lemon cups when ready to serve.

More sorbet recipes

Lime sorbet margaritas
Strawberry-beer sorbet
Raspberry-lemon sorbet in lemon bowls

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