Sunday, June 6, 2010

Infusion: Lemon & Olive Oil Sorbet

Mmmm, sorbet, it has been quite some time since I devoted time to the fresh and fruity cousin of traditional ice cream. I've even made granita since I last made sorbet! Jeez, what is this!? Well, my Mocha Latte triumph inspired me to continue my experimentation using household ingredients. Of course, my household ingredients aren't always as convenient as others. For example, not everyone has a bowl of kuzu root in their pantry, but I do! If you do not have any of this, I recommend getting some.You can get it at Asian markets, and I actually got mine at Whole Foods. It was $1.99 for quite a lot. Especially since you only need 1 tablespoon at a time- and you never know when it will come in handy. Basically, I use kuzu root as a stabilizer and emulsifier since I do not use eggs in my ice creams or sorbets. I know, you think I am a crazy person, "there are no eggs in sorbet!" Correct, however, stay tuned because I will explain this in a moment.

If you've ever made a vinaigrette, you know that oils tend to separate from other liquids. I know, ice cream addicts like us tend to avoid our leafy lunch options, but bear with me. What would make the oil act any differently in an ice cream or sorbet than it would in a salad dressing? It wouldn't! So let's dig a little deeper- when you are making an emulsified dressing, you need to see? Generally this is egg yolk or mustard...buuut since we don't want either of those in our sorbet, we will use our good old pal kuzu. He will do the very same thing that the egg would do, but will 1) be vegan and 2) actually has a lot of medicinal qualities.

Kuzu or "Kudzu" has actually shown to help with allergies, nasty hangovers, and migraines. In addition, long term use of this root has proven (in mice, idk about humans) to significantly decrease the effects of postmenopausal hypertension and type II diabetes. Of course, all the sugar in the sorbet won't really help you, but it is always good to know when your alternative ingredients are actually beneficial rather than detrimental. To the recipe!

Lemon & Olive Oil Sorbet

12 lemons- juiced (or 1c. lemon juice...I discourage this)
1c. sugar
1c. water
1T tequila or vodka
1/4c. olive oil
2T kuzu root

I'm going to take a minute to talk about these ingredients. 1) I recommend using Meyer Lemons...they are delicious and will have a more powerful flavor than using bottled lemon juice. 2) I used powdered sugar because I did not have any real sugar in the house (which makes it no longer standard vegan). I recommend making a simple syrup out of your usual sugar and water and using that. 3) I typically try to use alcohols that will be beneficial to the flavor of my product. You can always substitute them with vodka, but the alcohols I list are the ones I feel will impact the flavor best. The alcohol is used to keep the product from overhardening. 4) I would not use a strong or expensive olive oil for this. While you do want the flavor, you do not want it to overpower the lemon.

the instructions: Combine the first four ingredients, and set aside. In a blender, puverize kuzu root until it is a powder. Add the olive oil and blend until homogeneous. slowly add the lemon juice and blend just until emulsified. Churn immediately and then freeze until firm. I would serve a big scoop of this with some fresh or frozen fruit. Yum!

Lemon & Olive Oil Sorbet on Foodista


  1. Just curious. Why does powdered sugar make it not vegan? Pardon my ignorance. I'm throwing a vegan dinner party in a few weeks, I may use this :)

  2. A lot of vegans will not eat white sugar or confectioner's sugar because a lot of it is processed using bone char (read more here: while not all vegans are this strict, some would argue that any "self respecting" vegan would avoid white sugar altogether since it is hardly ever mentioned whether or not certain companies use it. I, on the other hand, don't particularly care since I chose a vegan lifestyle for my own health rather than for moral reasons. I'd suggest that you check with your guests first to see how strict they are about their sugars. Thanks for choosing my recipe! Let me know how it turns out!!