The recipe for this mascarpone sorbet is from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook. Mr. Keller admits to stealing it from Alain Ducasse, and, to come clean, I first came across it while reading an entry at The Cheese Diaries. This looked too easy, so to verify that the ingredients and method listed were correct, I went to Barnes and Noble, grabbed a copy of the The French Laundry Cookbook, took pen and paper, and cribbed the recipe directly from the book. But, The Cheese Diaries got it right after all.
The recipe is a minimalist combination of mascarpone, simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water combined), and lemon juice. Unlike ice cream, the sorbet contains no eggs, and so it is just slightly less rich. The absence of eggs also eliminates a major step in ice cream-making, cooking the eggs to form a custard. To make this sorbet, the mascarpone is liquefied with the simple syrup in a blender and frozen in an ice cream maker. Lemon juice is added just at the very end of the freezing process.
I found that the sorbet took quite a while to freeze. In fact, after 40 minutes of churning, when the ice cream maker actually gave out and died (R.I.P., 2001 to 2004), the sorbet finally came together, though still somewhat loose. But, after a couple of hours in the freezer, it solidified into a firm but pliable texture.
The final result is extremely creamy, but it also has a tangy bite from the the addition of lemon juice. Mr. Keller's recipe calls for serving the sorbet with a rhubarb confit, orange, and candied fennel to create a "'Salad' du Printemps," but it is excellent just as it is, or with the addition of fresh berries.