My great grandma used to make this, and its sweet, summery scent reminds me of her. I've monkeyed around with the ingredients a bit; now it's mostly fat-free, and the citrus flavors are more powerful with the addition of zest. I have no idea why it's called Moonlight Sherbet, but I am willing to bet that my ancestors called it "sherbert." Sherbet is an Americanized word for sorbet, and sherbert is a hillbillyized version of sherbet. Whatever the case, this is good, it's easy, and it's just about the coldest substance you can put into a bowl. No special ice cream-making equipment necessary. Old school!
- juice and zest of 2 oranges
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 C sugar
- 2 C fat-free half & half (I used Land o' Lakes)
- 1 C milk (whole, or give 2% or skim a try)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a large Tupperware-like plastic container with a lid. Mine was something like 9x13, or maybe a little smaller. It's the one I use for cookies.
Put the lid on and place in the freezer. When fairly solid (and this will vary based on the size of your container, so check it periodically), transfer the sherbet into a large bowl and (Grandma says) "beat." I'm not sure if she meant to do this with a hand mixer or a spoon. I went with a spoon, but I'm guessing that a hand mixer might aerate it a little better.
Return to the freezer until solid.
To serve, use the tines of a fork and a certain amount of elbow grease to fluff it up, granita-style. Top with coconut, whipped cream, a cherry, mint, or anything else you like. You might want to let it mellow for a few minutes before eating. Alternatively, let the entire container thaw for a while before you serve it. But that would mean waiting.