Having just returned from Italy, I was anxious to try out some gelato recipes in my ice-cream maker here at home! Gelato, ice cream, sorbet...what's the difference? A simplified explanation: Traditionally, gelato has a lower fat content (4-8%) than ice cream (12-16%); it's usually made with milk rather than cream, though it may contain a combination of both. Gelato often has a higher sugar content (around 20% depending on the flavor) than ice cream (averaging around 15%) because the sugar-water content is balanced to act as an 'anti-freeze' to keep the gelato from freezing solid. A true sorbet has no dairy, only fruit juice (which may be sweetened) and water. ('Sherbet' -- both the word and the frozen dessert -- is derived from 'sorbet', but often contains a little dairy.) So now you know! :)
¾ C sugar
1 C milk
1 C water
¾ C lemon juice
zest of one lemon
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to rolling boil, stirring frequently; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. If desired, strain out zest. Let cool to room temp.
Place mixture in ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes. If desired, transfer to air-tight container and freeze for a firmer consistency.
Garnish with lemon slices.
This is a basic recipe, but could be a good starting point for flavor combinations...I love lemon-ginger frozen yogurt, for example. Mint, honey, lavender...other flavors may be delicious in combination!