• Preparation time: 20 minutes.
  • Cooking time: 2 minutes.
  • Standing time: 10 minutes.
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours.
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 lemons or oranges
  • Half a litre water
  • One egg
  • Sage or mint leaves.

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and boil over a medium heat for about two minutes, until it turns into a syrup. Skim, then add the juice and grated rind of the oranges or lemons. Leave aside for ten minutes, strain and put into a dish; leave until quite cold. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and add to the syrup.

Put in the freezer for about six hours, remembering to take it out to stir well every half hour. Decorate each portion with sage or mint leaves before serving:

This unusual sweet dates back to at least the 13th century and was always served at the banquets of Medici. Ice-houses were built in the area of Santa Maria Novella for its production. It was generally served as a sweet, however, if the meal consisted of many different dishes, it was served as a welcome and refreshing pause between the first and second courses. Lemon and orange trees were widely grown and used ornamentally in many of the city’s gardens.