Light and Lovely Lavender Lemon Sorbet

sorbet7BI’m a bit late posting and therefore late in wishing you all a Happy Spring! Yes, has arrived for some of us, and maybe not so much for others. We’re blooming here, in between the freezing temps and then zooming up to the high 70’s. It is still March after all.

The longer days and blooming flowers make me want something light and delicious. A palette cleanser of the very best kind. This elegant and easy to make Lavender Lemon Sorbet fills that desire perfectly. The combination of floral essence and flavor of the lavender buds tames and compliments the tang of the lemon. In fact, they are symbiotic in a way…bettering each other in the marriage. Adding buttermilk to this sorbet creates an underlying creaminess in its texture, without taking it all the way to a sherbet consistency. It’s really delightfully refreshing, any time of the year.

I didn’t strain out the lavender flower buds from my simple syrup because I enjoy the visual appeal and seed-like texture, as well as the pop of lavender essence that they add to the finished product. But if you don’t care for that tiny bit of herbal and floral chew, then by all means, strain your infused syrup before adding it to the rest of the mixture.

This is my new favorite sorbet and I’ll be making it over and over again. I hope you’ll make it, too. Be sure to use cooking quality lavender for this and all recipes that call for lavender. Cheers and have a great weekend!

Lavender Lemon Sorbet
Makes 3 pints

2 teaspoons cooking lavender buds (you can find these in gourmet sections of fine grocery stores and cooking stores)
1 cup cane sugar, divided
2/3 cup water
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 cups buttermilk, I use low fat but any kind will do

Combine 2/3 cup of the sugar, 2/3 cup water and the lavender buds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the syrup is clear and all the sugar has melted. Take it off the heat and allow it to infuse and cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, and the buttermilk and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender infused syrup (straining it through a fine sieve first if you want to remove the buds), and stir well to combine. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 5 hours or overnight. Process the mixture in your ice cream freezer according to the directions, then remove the dasher and scoop into freezer containers (it will be quite soft), then seal them. Place the sorbet into the freezer and allow it to harden the rest of the way, then scoop out and serve as desired.

Note: To make this recipe without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a metal tray or baking dish and place it in the freezer. When the mixture starts to freeze, rake a fork through it several times to break up the ice crystals. Repeat this process about 4 or 5 times over the course of three hours. This will give you a sorbet that is really more of a granita. You can run this through a food processor to make a finer texture, then put it back in the freezer and run your tines through again several times until it has refrozen. If you don’t run the fork through it and break up the ice crystals, it will freeze solid.

You can also pour the mixture into ice pop molds.



40 thoughts on “Light and Lovely Lavender Lemon Sorbet

  1. That’s such an interesting thing to do with lavender. Got to try that. If you don’t have an ice cream maker and are stirring till frozen what happens once it’s fully frozen? Does it remain scoopable.the next day?


    • Thank you so much for your question, and that prompted me to elaborate on my instructions further and update this post. To answer your question, it should remain more like the texture of a granita. You can also freeze it in ice pop molds and it will be solid as pops always are. Here are more specific instructions: pour the mixture into a metal tray or freezer safe dish and place it in the freezer. When the mixture starts to freeze, rake a fork through it several times to break up the ice crystals. Repeat this process about 4 or 5 times over the course of three hours.


      • That’s what I appreciate about foodie blogs, I don’t have to be left wondering, people will respond. 🙂 What I’m trying to find out is, once I’ve raked a fork through it today and it is the consistency that I want, what consistency will it be tomorrow once I’ve stopped the raking part.


        • It should be like granita in that once the small ice crystals are fully frozen after you’ve raked it, it stays in that small ice crystal pattern. You should then be able to scoop it until it’s all gone, tomorrow or the next day. Make sure you rake all the way to the bottom of the pan during the raking phase, otherwise you’ll have the small crystals on top and a solid mass on the bottom. You can scoop it and store it in jars or another container for a very long time and you may need to fluff it up with a fork again before serving. I’m getting too wordy, so here’s a link to granita technique…it has pictures and is easy to follow, and short! P.S. a metal pan of some sort works best here as it gets colder faster.


            • You’re most welcome. As I said to another commenter, I’ve read that you can run the granita once it is finished through a food processor to make a finer texture of the ice crystals, then return it to the freezer and continue to run the fork through it until the small crystals refreeze…just in case you’re not pleased with the granita texture. 🙂


  2. I’m so pleased to hear Spring has arrived for you. It does seem you have had a very harsh and long winter. I haven’t had a sorbet with buttermilk before; only ever had dairy-free sorbets. This must be so lovely and refreshing and have the taste of the new season with the lavender xx


  3. My friend Barb gave me some lavender sugar in the summer, this would be a great way to use it! I love how simple the flavours are and can really taste how fresh and lovely this dessert can be. Your photos are gorgeous Betsy, I love how the sun shines selectively on the ice, it immediately reads summer for me. It’s been crazy weather here too, but you’ve seen my disgruntled posts on Facebook! I’m ready for summer and wearing sandals and not wearing boots and socks. I heard the ice is 38″ at the cottage, that will take a lot of heat to melt (insert sad face here)!


  4. I’m going to get an ice cream maker tomorrow to make this! Betsy, you know how much I love lavender and even put it in meatloaf with Herbes de Provence. I did try the fork method last summer with a cantaloupe and mint sorbet but it is a lot of work and the consistency is never as good. I’m not a huge fan of small electrics in the kitchen (I still whip my own meringues in a vintage copper bowl) but I know this little appliance will be well used. So many of us avoid making wonderful ice creams, sorbets, and granitas for Spring and Summer not because they are difficult to assemble but for lack of something to do the work afterwards!


    • Bill, I have a Cuisinart ice cream/sorbet maker and I adore it. I always keep one barrel in the freezer! I’ve read that you can put the granita in a food processor and process it to get a better texture, then refreeze, but you have to fork rake it again until it is refrozen. An ice cream maker is sooooo much easier and deserves the space to store it IMO. 🙂 I’m making another batch tomorrow by the way. 😉


      • I have borrowed a friend’s Cuisinart and loved it and will get one tomorrow- they do such a lovely job and don’t take up much space. Thanks so much for your blog- it is a great inspiration and venue to share!


  5. Your lemon and lavender flavors must be a delicious combination. Hopefully our snow will be gone soon and it will start to look like spring here as well.


    • It really seems like winter is hanging on in some parts of the country. I do hope your snow will be gone soon, too, Karen. Glad you like the looks of this sorbet. It’s good even if your weather is still cold! 😉


  6. This sounds like a great combo of flavors, Betsy, and I bet the fragrance is nice, too. Great idea, too, adding the buttermilk. Without it, too many sorbets are too icy for my tastes. Since January, Zia has been with her Son in Virginia. I get full reports of Spring and its flowers. At least now I can tell her that our snow is gone. I know it isn’t much but it’s a start. 🙂


    • Hi John, and thank you for your kind words. The lavender and the lemon with the buttermilk in this sorbet make a really nice flavor. A little of all that’s in it shines through in interesting ways. The lavender isn’t pervasive, just a really nice note. Like you, I prefer buttermilk sorbets to the really ice ones. If I want something icy I’ll take a frozen margarita, lol! We’re having 80 degree weather here this week. I know it’s coming for you, too, just hang in there! 🙂


  7. Pingback: It’s the Simple Things | bits and breadcrumbs

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