Dilemma: wrong season for iced desserts. (A moot point for all of you living in the southern hemisphere enjoying summer!) Yet, I’m still in that “honeymoon” stage with my new professional ice cream maker. And, lemon gelato is one of my absolute favourites. So…when I was reading through one of the River Cafe pocket recipe books (the one on Puddings, Cakes and Ice Creams), I spotted a cold lemon recipe that tickled my fancy.
It was a lemon sorbet made with bananas – and lots of lemons, of course. But, why bananas? I wondered, would they affect the taste? Or, were the ridiculous number of lemons listed in the recipe sufficient to override the taste of banana? And, with a little bit of lateral thinking, I wondered what it would be like if made into a creamier gelato rather than a sorbet. Would it still be really lemony? Would it still be really tart?
A number of trials later and I had a fantastic creamy and (very) tart lemon gelato. Oh, and yes, the banana does wonders for the texture and does not interfere with the lemony taste.
Adapted and modified from the River Cafe lemon sorbet. Also scaled down from their industrial quantities.
- 6 organic lemons – one whole, the others juiced to produce approximately 300ml lemon juice
- 2 small ripe bananas
- 300g caster sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) honey
- 300ml Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche (or half each)
- 2 Tablespoons lemoncello
Juice 5 of the lemons and keep in reserve. Take the other lemon and cut into quarters and then each quarter in half. Purée the cut lemon pieces in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding a little of the juice if required. Sieve to remove any large bits. Then return the smooth purée to the food processor and add the bananas and sugar. Process until smooth and creamy looking. Whisk this purée mixture with the lemon juice, the yoghurt or crème fraîche, honey and lemoncello until smooth. Just note that your choice of yoghurt or crème fraîche will affect the taste – the more yoghurt, the more tangy the taste. Put into the ice cream machine and process according to instructions. Store in a container in the freezer for a few hours. Remove for a short while before serving to bring it up to the perfect scooping temperature. Scoop and enjoy!