Meyer Lemon Sherbet and an Assortment of Meyer Lemon Recipes

A bowl of meyer lemon sherbet.


The co-op had some beautiful Meyer lemons the other day and I couldn’t resist buying a few, especially since I had never bought them before. I never knew what to do with them thus I never bought them. Now I know!  I used one of the lemons in place of preserved lemons in my Capellini with lemon, garlic and egg pasta dish. It was very good, better than regular lemons but not as good as using preserved lemons.  So what do I do with the other lemons?  The weather helped me answer that question.  We have finally warmed up to near record highs and the spring winds have started to blow; therefore, something cool and refreshing sounded good, thus – a Meyer Lemon Sherbet.

I’ve made lemon sherbet before, but this one, I have to say was quite different.  To make sure that I wasn’t just imagining such a significant difference, I made another sherbet using the same recipe but with regular lemons. Nope – it was not my imagination. The lemon sherbet was VERY tart and lemony, and definitely needed more sugar or a sweet topping to help relax the mouth from the pucker spasm it went into with every bite.  However, the Meyer lemon sherbet had the right balance of sweetness and tartness, and the flavor – more fruity and tropical than citrusy and tart.  It was SOOOO good!

The huge difference in flavor between Meyer lemon and regular lemon really got me curious so I did a little research and what I found out was that the Meyer is more than a lemon. The Meyer lemon is thought to be a hybrid that was developed in China and is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or some other type of orange.  I can believe that. It definitely has the sweetness of an orange mixed in with the tanginess of a lemon. I will definitely be buying more!

If you are as curious as I was to know what else you can do with Meyer lemons, then you need to check out the list of Meyer lemon recipes at the end of this post. I went on a quest and found some great recipes I want to try. Once you see them, I’m sure you’ll want to try them as well.


Meyer lemon sherbet. #meyer #sherbet @mjskitchen



Meyer Lemon Sherbet Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Makes about 3 cups
Prep and cook time: less than 30 minutes
Overnight in the fridge then freeze in ice cream maker


2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Lemon zest from 2 Meyer lemons
¼ tsp. agar (optional)
½ cup Meyer lemon juice (juice from 2 to 3 lemons depending on the size)


  1. Heat the milk and sugar in a pot over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the milk gets hot and starts to foam on top, add the vanilla extract and agar. Stir to incorporate. Continue stirring for 1 minute (reduce heat if the milk starts to boil), and then remove from the heat.
  3. Add the lemon zest.
  4. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, right before pouring into the ice cream maker, add the lemon juice and stir.
  6. Transfer to the ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions.



Meyer lemon sherbet.


Kitchen Notes

Sorbet vs. sherbet vs. ice cream – Normally, I make sorbet because it’s lower in calories and has no dairy, not that I can’t eat dairy, I just try to minimize it. Sorbets are primary fruit juice/puree’ and a sweetener. Sherbets are fruit juice/puree’ and some milk. Typically, sherbets have a lower percent of butterfat than ice cream – less than 3% vs. up to 15%, respectively.

Milk and Meyer lemon juice – I used a ratio of 4 to 1, 2% milk to lemon juice. This ratio was just right for 1/3 cup sugar; however, if you decide to change the ratio to say – 3 to 2, then I would suggest increasing the sugar to at least 1/2 cup.

Meyer Lemon juice vs. regular lemon juice – You can use regular lemons in this recipe; however, you should definitely increase the sugar to at least 1/2 cup unless you like a really, really tart sherbet.

Agar – Agar is a gelling agent derived from red algae and is sometimes used in place of gelatin. I added 1/4 teaspoon to help create a little creamier texture and it worked. Having made this with and without it, the sherbet with the agar was indeed a little creamier. Be careful not to add too much agar because your mixture could set overnight in the fridge and you would have a pudding the next day when you go to churn.

If you’ve enjoyed this Meyer Lemon Sherbet, you’ll also enjoy these other Meyer lemon recipes.

Ten recipes with Meyer lemon that caught my eye:

Savory dishes

Meyer Lemon Chicken @The Unorthodox Epicure

Creamy Meyer Lemon Pasta @Juanita’s Cocina

Creamy Meyer Lemon Pasta with Homemade Ricotta and Broccoli @The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Sweet Treats

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake @Just One Cookbook

Meyer Lemon Parfaits @Cravings of a Lunatic

Raspberry Madeleines with Meyer Lemon Curd @From My Sweet Heart

Meyer Lemon Curd @The Galley Gourmet

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies @A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis

The drinks to enjoy them all with

Meyer Lemon Margarita @The Wicked Noodle

Meyer Lemon Cocktail @Las Vegas Food Adventures
This Meyer Lemon Sherbet post was linked to the following blog hops: Hearth and Soul and  featured on

Tags: , ,

72 Responses to “Meyer Lemon Sherbet and an Assortment of Meyer Lemon Recipes”

  1. Bonita January 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  2. Amber @ The Cook's Sister April 14, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    What a refreshing sherbet recipe! Saving this for the first sign of spring around here…

  3. Swathi April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Delicious sherbet, It is hard for me to finish one bowl I need more bowl of treat yumm.
    Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog Hop.

  4. April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Your sherbet looks absolutely delicious. I was interested to learn about Meyer lemons being a hybrid variety of lemon, I didn’t realise that. Also thank you for sharing the links to the other Meyer lemon recipes. We don’t get Meyer lemons in the UK yet, but I’m hopeful that we will soon 🙂

  5. Amanda@ChewTown April 1, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    I love the sound of this lemon sherbet! It looks fabulous! I’ll definitely be trying this one soon.

  6. Kim Beaulieu March 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    This is fabulous. I love meyer lemons. I have 3 bags on the go right now.

    I’m doing a meyer lemon week. Would love to include you in the round up.

    • mj March 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Thanks Kim!!! I’d love for you to return the favor and include me in your round up! Thanks!

  7. Food Jaunts March 26, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Meyer lemons have finally shown up at my market and I keep eyeing them but I’m not quite sure what to do with them. Thanks for all the resources! The sherbet looks delicious, I love all those little yellow flecks.

  8. Sissi March 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    MJ, we live so far but seem to have the same desserts ideas at the same time: I also crave light refreshing tangy desserts now, even though it’s only spring, not summer heat yet! Anyway, your sherbet looks gorgeous. I love the way it contrasts with the black bowl. Very dramatic (I must remember this since I have many black bowls).
    Meyer lemons are probably the only fruit I envy when I read US blogs. They sound like a fruit which would become my staple… I hope I will be able to taste them one day.
    By the way, I have always thought that sherbet=French sorbet (i.e. sugar and fruits, without dairy). One lives and learns…

    • mj March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks Sissi for ALL of your great comments! Like you, I do like huge contrasts! 🙂 I too hope that some day you get to taste a Meyer. I’m sure you could order them on-line somewhere. You can order pretty much anything on line nowadays. It’s fun teaching each other new things, isn’t it? I’ve learned a lot from you my friend!

  9. Kiran @ March 23, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Love meyer lemons and sherbet! So springy!

  10. Mary Hartley March 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi MJ! I am so happy I ate only one of my Meyers today (yes the whole thing, all by itself !). I’ll try the sherbet tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe! Happy spring! Mary

    • mj March 25, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Mary – it always makes my day when I hear from you! I need to try eating a meyer like an orange. I would gain a whole new appreciation for them I’m sure. Thanks for the comment and hope you and Mark enjoy the sherbet!

  11. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    MJ, your lemon sherbet looks heavenly. It reminds me of spring and sweet summer days – light, love, and levity… amazing how evocative food can be! I like when I can make an ice cream or sherbet without the need for special equipment too. Interesting how different the flavour is between the regular lemons and meyer. I do love tart lemon desserts but it sounds like the prior recipe was over the top tart – yours does not strike me as excessive in the sugar department – just right. I have to give your meyer version a try. By the way, love the snap of the melting sherbet…gorgeous!

    • mj March 25, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks Kelly! Yes, the real lemons were a bit tart with only 1/3 cup sugar, but 1/2 cup should work. I was quite surprised as to the difference between the flavors of the two types of lemons. Some people apparently eat meyers like oranges. I might have to try that. 🙂 It’s amazing how the last shot you take of the day when the ice cream has melted, the food has gotten cold – turns out to be one of your best. 🙂

  12. Treat and Trick March 22, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    You’re genius to come with this low cal treat! Bookmarked….

  13. Reem | Simply Reem March 22, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Beautiful Sherbet…
    I am seeing so many meyer lemons recipes … this looks fabulous..
    I have to get meyer lemons soon… My hubby will love this.

  14. Nisa Homey March 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Sigh 🙁 no meyer lemons in this part of the world…..MJ the last pic on the scoop is soooo tempting… is so hot here that I wish I could have this to cool me down….

  15. Debra March 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Glad it’s warm there. It seems we are waiting for spring a little longer, but how refreshing would this e to remind us to hang in there?

  16. Sanjeeta kk March 21, 2013 at 5:21 am # didn’t buy Meyer lemons cause you didn’t know what to do with them…and here I am with piles of recipes to be tried out but no Meyer lemons in India…sigh..and you are adding more salt to my woes by posting 10 yummy recipes and that melting sherbet picture….not fair..MJ.

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      Ohhhhhh – I’m sorry Sanjeeta! 🙂 Wish I could send you some lemons. Thanks so much for you comments and hope you are having a great week!

  17. Anne@FromMySweetHeart March 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    MJ….what a beautiful sherbet! I LOVE meyer lemons and I have a little tree which I got last spring. I managed not to kill it as I brought it inside for the winter. I just hope it gives me some lemons this year! Thanks so much for the shout out on the madeleines! And that last picture….the ice cream in the scooper….is GORGEOUS!

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      Thanks Anne! I’m jealous that you have a lemon tree! Obviously it’s in a pot if you have it inside. That’s a great idea for a young tree. I hope you get some lemons this year! You are most welcome!

  18. Terra March 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    My grocery store still does not have Meyer lemons…..UGH!!! I haven’t found blood oranges or Meyer lemons, makes me sad. Sherbet is my favorite, your recipe looks wonderful! I love all the Meyer lemon recipes you shared, now I need to find some ASAP! Hugs, Terra

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks Terra! Yes, you do need to find some of both – meyer and blood – before they go out of season. No problem getting our Vitamin C fix this time of year.

  19. Rita Bose March 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Wow!! So yummy, MJ!! Wonderful pictures!!

  20. beyondthepeel March 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Meyer Lemon ice cream. I don’t think there could be a better flavor! Looks and sounds wonderful.

  21. Raymund March 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I know it is getting cold in here now but I would love to have this anytime

  22. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I just bought a bag of Meyer lemons but I don’t have an ice cream maker. I’ll have to check out some of the recipes that caught your eye…then I think I need to go shopping for an ice cream maker.

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks Karen! I would say in surprise “You don’t have an ice cream maker?”, but then I don’t have a slow cooker. We all have our priorities. 🙂

  23. Zsuzsa March 20, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Peach Lady, I must have missed your pasta dish – it looks delish – and I had to look up what meyer lemons actually are. Wow! I keep learning from you.

  24. Nads March 20, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    When Brynn lived in her apartment in Burbank there was a Meyer Lemon tree in her yard. For the longest we didn’t know what it was. At first they look like a lemon, but as they mature they look more like an orange. They were so good you could eat them like an orange and they made exceptional lemonade because you didn’t have to add much sugar. This sherbert looks sooo good. If the heat so far is any indication, it’s going to be a hot summer so we’re going to need ways to keep cool. I guess I’m going to have to break down and get an ice cream maker. I started to buy an old one at a flea market like we used to have growing up, but Jim said “no way.” Getting a little cranky in his old age, but not enough to crank an ice cream churn. Oh well, that’s what electricity is for.

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Really? Brynn had a meyer lemon tree? I’m jealous! I think you all would love this sherbet so I hope you get a chance to make it. I debating whether to get an electric ice maker. The one I have now is the original donvier ice cream maker. It’s a hand crank and makes only 3 cups which is actually enough for the two of us. You do need to be able to put the insert in the freezer overnight which might be a problem with your freezer. 🙂

  25. Jennie @themessybakerblog March 20, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Oooo, I could definitely use a spoonful of this sherbet. It looks delicious! I need to find me some meyer lemons.

  26. Katerina March 20, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    It must smell and taste heavenly! I love the flavor of lemon in sweets!

  27. Meyer lemons you’re saying. I want this sorbet so much. Hopefully it will turn out well with a regular ones as well.

  28. Susan March 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    This is so lovely! I also make sorbet with fruits, but now I’m thinking I need to make sherbet and I so love the flavor of meyer lemons. Thanks for including my link too!

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Thank you Susan! And you are most welcome! I love the look of your pasta dish!

  29. Carole March 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Meyer lemons are just the best. Unfortunatley my little lemon tree only hs 4 lemons on it this year… so we have to buy them. I think I like lemon flavours better than chocolate!

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks Carole! I’m sorry you only have 4 lemons. I hate it when that happens. I use to have fruit trees and was sad during the years that we had few to no fruit. I, too love the lemon flavor. Not sure if I like it better than chocolate though. 🙂

  30. Liz March 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Your sorbet is gorgeous!!! And love all these lemony treats! I need to see if I can find Meyer lemons before they’re gone 🙂

  31. Jen @JuanitasCocina March 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes! I need to go back to the store now! For more Meyers!

    Thank you so much for including me in your post!

  32. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    We hardly ever see Meyer lemons here so I was glad to read that you tried the recipe with regular lemons and it was just as good. It will come in handy this summer when I buy an ice cream maker. I didn’t know Meyer lemons were a hybrid, that explains a lot. Thanks for sharing MJ!

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Thanks Nancy! Sounds like Meyer lemon aren’t found in Europe. Your the second European to mention that. Yes, regular lemons work, just be sure to increase the sugar.

  33. Kadri March 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Never heard of meyer lemons :O. Something totally new for me :). Will try to do it with the usual yellow ones we have in local shop. The ice cream looks awesome 😛

    • mj March 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Thank you Kadri! Meyer lemon can’t be found in all grocery stores and apparently some countries. I’ve seen them once in a while, but until now, haven’t bought them. This recipe does work with regular lemons but be sure to increase the sugar amount. Taste before freezing.

  34. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies March 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I always get excited about Meyer lemon season. They are just sublime–and I’m sure this sherbet is too!

  35. LinsFood March 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I love Meyer lemons but they’re extremely difficult to get here! Love the ice cream and the use of agar agar.

  36. Viviane Bauquet Farre March 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    MJ, this is a perfect recipe for the start of spring!

  37. Judy @Savoring Today March 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I love Meyer lemons and this time of year when they are in season! Thanks for all these tasty recipes, especially the sherbet. 🙂

  38. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Ahhhhhh! I *just* finished the whole bunch of Meyer lemons yesterday, making 3 batches of Meyer Lemon Curd to give away to my friends (one for me). I have to go find more Meyer Lemons to make this sherbet. Geez, looks so good, and I can even imagine the flavor looking at the pic. So nice of you to include my pound cake MJ! Thank you for your kindness. 🙂 Pinning!

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Thanks Nami! Oh – meyer lemon curd! That sounds yummy! Hopefully you’ll be posting your recipe. As you can see I have a whole list of recipes to make, so I guess adding a curd to the list won’t hurt. 🙂

  39. Reese@SeasonwithSpice March 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Mmmm…I could have two big scoops of your sherbet to summon spring right now! We are having the extreme March Madness up north, so dinner is often hot & spicy foods, and I like to finish it off with a nice refreshing dessert. Thanks MJ for a great spring-spiration dessert! Gotta swing by the nearest co-op (still pretty far), but for the meyer lemon sake!

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Thanks Reese! I heard that you guys were still in winter up north. Makes me even more thankful that I live in the southwest. 🙂 Meyer lemon sake? Oh – that sounds good! I’ll have to keep an eye out for that!

  40. CJ at Food Stories March 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I love meyer lemons so no wonder the recipe was so much better with 🙂

  41. john@kitchenriffs March 19, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Great looking sherbert! I’ve never had a Meyer lemon one, and I’ll bet it’s great. Odd that I haven’t had this, though, since we used to have a Meyer lemon tree when we lived in Florida. The juice is sweet enough that you can drink it unsweetened – something you could never do with a regular lemon. Meyer lemon is wonderful in lightly textured baked goods – think madeleines or sponge cake. Anyway, good post – thanks.

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      You had a meyer lemon tree and have never used one? Well, shame on you John. At least I didn’t have that excuse. 🙂 Well, now that I’ve tried them, I’m sure I’ll be using them a lot more! Thanks John!

  42. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 19, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    So many people are making marvelous things with meyer lemons these days and I don’t have any. Gosh your sherbet looks good!

  43. Diane Balch March 19, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Looks wonderful…funny I baked a rice cake with lemon this week. I’ve got lemon on my mind too.

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks Diane! It’s definitely lemon season!

  44. ChgoJohn March 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I just bought some Meyer lemons yesterday. I’m going to make a batch of Limoncello with them. I wish we could get Meyers year-round. Lemon sorbet/ice is a great refresher in Summer. I like that your recipe here makes a small amount, relatively speaking. Makes portion control more likely, at least in my house. Thanks, MJ, for sharing your recipe.

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Thanks John! Oh – Limoncello! That sounds SO good! I buy Limoncello at World Market all of the time. Can’t wait to see your recipe. I too wish I could get Meyer lemons year round, but I guess we just have to enjoy them when we can find them. With just the two of us, most everything I make is in small amounts, plus I have one of those original hand cranked small ice cream makers and it only holds 3 cups. 🙂

  45. Michelle @ Simplify, Live, Love March 19, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Well…I learned something new today. I have seem Meyer Lemons but never took the time to figure out what the heck they are. They are also for sale at Azure Standard, (I think), where I get a lot of our groceries. I’ll have to order them and try out this recipe! Thanks, MJ!!

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Thanks Michelle! I’m like you – I’ve seen them for years, but just didn’t know what to do with them. Now I have a host recipes that I want to make with them.

  46. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 19, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Very refreshing and delicious!

  47. adam @unorthodoxepicure March 19, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    That is beautiful! And thanks for the plug! 🙂

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      You are most welcome and thank you! I do plan to make your chicken dish!

  48. Ramona March 19, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Would it be wrong of me to eat the ice cream right out of the scoop! Wow…that looks like one luscious and creamy dreamy ice cream. I love in anything lemon… but ice cream sherbet… you are talking to me with this one. 🙂

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Absolutely not!! I ate a lot from the scoop. In fact, the scoop you see here on the plate did NOT go back in the bowl. 🙂 Thanks Ramona!

  49. Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 19, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Whata a wonderful sherbet. I didn’t know anything about Meyer lemons, but now thanks to you and Nami I do know them.
    I never saw them here in Italy, but I’d love to make a sherbet like this, maybe with “plain” lemon (here we have Sorrento lemons, that are amazing)!


    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Thank Giulia! I’ve never heard of Sorrento lemons. Will have to look them up. I guess meyer lemons are just found in Asian countries and the northern hemisphere. Not sure why you don’t get them in Europe. If you use regular lemons, be sure to increase the sugar. Taste before you freeze. Hope you’re having a wonderful week my friend!


  1. Meyer Lemon Recipe Round-Up | Cravings of a Lunatic - April 21, 2013

    […] Meyer Lemon Sherbert by MJ’s Kitchen […]

I love hearing from my visitors, so please leave a comment. Thanks for dropping by!