Amp Up Sorbets And Ice Creams By Serving Them In A Lemon Rind

Move over ice cream bowls: Crystal is cute, but sunshine yellow lemon cups are here. They're show-stoppers. They're scene stealers. Memorable and irresistible additions to the dessert table, lemon rinds doubling as cups will have your friends convinced of your kitchen prowess. 

The fact that you can use the lemon fruit and juice to make the dessert you later put back in the rind only adds to that satisfying wow factor. A food you use every part of? (Ok, maybe not the seeds.) What is this? A sustainable kitchen or something? Heck, the cups are even biodegradable and compostable. But let's get back to dessert.

Gutting citrus is a messy affair, but you'll only need a few fresh lemons, a couple of common kitchen tools, and patience. This presentation is 'gram-worthy in the extreme and worth adding to the list of ways to make more than just lemonade when you have lemons.

Life gave you lemons

While far more than 14 varieties of lemons exist, you only need to reach for your favorite to make a DIY dessert container. Just grab the freshest one you can find and make sure to wash the peel.

Carefully slicing off a small sliver from either end of the fruit is key to making the lemon stand up straight, but you'll want to keep it thin to avoid breaking through to the pulp, which would cause your ice cream or sorbet to leak out later. If you can't help taking off too much because the peel is thin, don't worry. The end piece can be placed inside the cup to make an artificial bottom.

Note the end on which the lemon cup stands best. Slicing off the top of the other end will allow you to scoop out the acidic pulp inside or go to town with a citrus reamer if you want to save the juice. It may be easiest to use a small knife to slice into the fruit first before wedging a spoon or other small scooping instrument like a melon baller in to shimmy the pith free from the flesh.

Removing the pulp can be tricky if the rind is still intact (which it should be) so you'll want to use a small knife to cut the white, spongy center away from the pith. Put aside the sliced ends of the lemon for use as a garnish. They make perfect little toppers.

Make more than lemonade

Cold rinds will keep sweet frozen treats from melting too quickly, so chilling your empty lemon cups for a few hours before filling them will get them ready for homemade or grocery store sorbet. To go the homemade route, use that juicy puddle of tart, sweet lemon juice you saved (plus some grated zest), or make sorbet from a different fruit. Raspberry or blood orange are delicious and striking in color contrast to lemon yellow. The simple sorbet-making process goes, in short: Mix fresh fruit juice with sugar syrup, strain, stir for uniform consistency, and freeze for at least four hours. Ice cream in complementary flavors like vanilla, ginger, or other spices will make delightful fillings as well.

Congratulations: Fancy givré sorbet has been achieved. A serving of sorbet in the rind of the fruit, "givré" literally means frosted in French, since frozen fruit accumulates white-grey frost on its skin during serving as it defrosts. 

Serve your finished lemon rind dessert cups with a pretty mint leaf garnish. The green sprigs are eye-popping near the naturally bright yellow of a lemon rind. Throw on a bit of whipped cream, and even a dried or candied lemon slice for texture, and enjoy.