I'm sure you are tempted to start in on me with some"that's not sorbet, it's sherbet" stuff. I wouldn't blame you. Most definitions will turn on the introduction of a dairy to move the dish from sorbet territory into sherbet-land. My boyfriend David Lebovitz will still tell you he sees "the terms used interchangeably, even by professionals"; and he wrote the book. So there.
This recipe doesn't come from his book but rather from Nigel Slater's and I can't tell you why he decided to buck popular convention and call it a "sorbet". He just did and who am I to argue with Nigel Slater or his copy editor? Perhaps he felt that despite the inclusion of mascarpone the flavor is still pure sorbet and just as light and refreshing. Here the mascarpone compliments the intense lime taste perfectly: mellowing it out while not dumbing it down. The 'out of the freezer scoopability' it brings is great too. If you love lime you will love this.
The British just like to be different anyway. They call cookies "biscuits", eggplants "aubergines", and pickles "gherkins" so if Nigel wants to call this sherbet "sorbet" perhaps he is just following his own customs? Whatever you want to it it is in regular rotation around here and as any food blogger will tell you, it is a real badge of honor when we make anything more than once. Just sayin'.
Lime Mascarpone Sorbet
(Adapted from Nigel Slater's, Real Food.)
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- the juice and finely grated zest of 5 limes
- 8 oz. mascarpone
Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the lime zest and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Stir in the juice and the mascarpone. Mix well. Push mixture through a sieve if it is lumpy. Scrape into plastic container and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions.