Recipe from Paris to Provence by Ethel Brennan, Sara Remington (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013)
The glossy plastic laminated menu boards parked out front most cafés sent our ice cream– obsessed minds spinning, and if it was on a bistro menu it meant it would be a choice for dessert. Mikado, Cornet, and Magnum bars, just to name a few, swirled on the Day-Glo menus, ready to be pulled from the freezer below and placed in our hands. Occasionally a café would have something special on the board: frozen, hollowed-out lemons and oranges filled with sorbet and capped with the stem end of the fruit rind. Next to push-up Popsicles this was haute cuisine, and its elegance and sophistication seemed out of place on the menu board. —Ethel
- 8 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vodka
To prepare the lemons, cut a quarter off the stem end. At the opposite end, cut just a thin slice through the rind only from the bottom, not cutting through to the fruit. This will keep the lemon level when serving. From the stem end trim away any fruit, leaving a small yellow “cap” about the size of a quarter and set aside.
Using a spoon, gently scoop the flesh from the lemons. Place the hollowed-out lemons upright on their stem ends on a baking sheet and put into the freezer.
Using your hands, squeeze the removed pulp to extract the juice and pass it through a fine-mesh sieve. You will need 1 cup of juice.
In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup water and the sugar, and cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Stir in the cup of lemon juice and the vodka. Pour into a baking dish large enough to hold the liquid and freeze for 24 hours. Alternatively, process the sorbet in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill each chilled, hollowed lemon with the sorbet, top with a “cap,” and place in the freezer to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.