Does the lemon juice curdle the dairy when mixed together?

  • Posted by: jmlanza
  • July 22, 2021
Lemon Basil Sherbet
Recipe question for: Lemon Basil Sherbet


drbabs July 22, 2021
The lemon juice does cause the cream to curdle, but in a good way: it causes the cream to thicken. This recipe is basically a frozen version a posset, a custard made by mixing cream with lemon juice and allowing it to set. There’s a great posset recipe on Food 52 here:
jmlanza July 22, 2021
Thank you for your reply. I've never made a posset so I am not familiar with mixing citrus with dairy. It's nice to learn new techniques.
drbabs July 22, 2021
I didn’t know what it was either before mrslarkin posted that recipe. That’s the great thing about Food52. You can learn so much.
AntoniaJames July 22, 2021
That's a good question. I have not made this, but from the photo, it appears that the lemon juice hasn't curdled the dairy. This recipe was tested by the Food52 test kitchen, so it should be fine.

Looking at the ingredient list, I see that there is a fair bit of fat in the dairy ingredients, which are cooked with the sugar and the lemon zest and then chilled before stirring in the lemon juice. That may also help to prevent it from curdling.

It's an interesting and appealing recipe. I'm going to try it! ;o)
jmlanza July 22, 2021
All excellent points. I'm not a terribly experienced cook so I wasn't aware that the milk fat would have an effect on adding lemon juice. Thank you for replying.
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