Throughout most of my pregnancy I experienced major fruit cravings. I couldn't get enough pineapple or strawberries, and I thoroughly enjoyed peaches, grapes, grapefruit, everything berry and pears as well. As yummy as fruit is, I eventually tired of eating straight up fruit and looked for other ways to quell my cravings. I then discovered the world of fruit smoothies, and for months I enjoyed experimenting with different ingredient combinations. But I soon tired of smoothies, and while looking for a use for the plethora of basil we've grown this summer, I discovered homemade sorbet. What a lovely and delicious way to beat the heat!
If you've never made homemade sorbet before, I highly recommend it. Most recipes call for the use of an ice cream maker, but I had no problems making mine without one. Because we wanted to use up our fresh basil, I selected sorbet recipes containing basil, which may be a bit off-putting at first (it was for me!), but you'd be surprised at how tasty and refreshing the basil is in these recipes!
recipe found and adapted from two peas & their pod
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
- In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries and the sugar. Cover and set aside for at least an hour, stirring if needed.
- In a blender, puree the strawberries, their liquid, the basil and the lemon juice until smooth.
- Pour into a freezer safe container, cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.
- Remove sorbet from freezer and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes.
- Return sorbet to blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour puree into individual serving dishes.
- Return to freezer until ready to serve.
Of course, you can adjust these directions as you see fit, but based on the success I had with this approach with my next sorbet recipe, I chose to repeat it again with the strawberry basil sorbet. The second puree step may not be necessary, but seeing as this was the first time I used this recipe, I wasn't sure if my sorbet would separate during the first freezing as it did with the following recipe. Note: The strawberry sorbet didn't separate but I wanted to put it in individual bowls so I proceeded with the second puree anyway.
recipe found and adapted from allrecipes.com
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 6-7 limes)
20 fresh basil leaves, finely minced
- Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; allow to boil for 1 minute; remove from heat.
- Add the syrup, lime juice and basil to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour puree into a freezer safe container and freeze for 4 hours or until thoroughly frozen.
- Remove frozen puree from freezer, break into chunks, return to blender, puree until smooth and thoroughly mixed (ingredients will separate during initial freezing).
- Pour puree into individual bowls, cover, and return to freezer until ready to serve.
Alternative: The second time I made this sorbet, I used lemons in addition to the limes because I didn't have enough limes on hand. I used 2 lemons and 3 limes to get 3/4 cup juice, but you may need more depending on the size of your fruit. I imagine this would be just as delicious using only lemons.
I can't tell you how psyched I am to discover that making sorbet is so easy. I can only imagine that the flavor combinations are endless. What's your favorite flavor of sorbet?
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