I found this recipe a few weeks ago while I was doing some research on different varieties of basil. One could say I am a little obsessed with the bright, versatile summer herb that can be used for anything from pizza to dessert.
Couple things to note on this recipe:
2. You must like lime.
3. You must love basil.
Here's the recipe I found and some of my modifications listed below (pics to follow shortly):
Fresh Lime-Basil Sorbet
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (8 to 10 limes)
1 cup water
1 cup simple sugar syrup (1 cup sugar plus 1 cup water, boiled then cooled)
12 whole basil leaves
1 egg white (optional)
Combine all ingredients, except egg white, into a freezer friendly container and freeze 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from freezer and allow to soften a little. Put chunks of frozen mixture into a food processor and process until all crystals have disappeared and mixture is smooth. Re-pack into container and keep frozen until needed. This will keep for up to 2 months. If you prefer a lighter, less icy sorbet, add 1 egg white during processing. Yields 4 servings.
(Recipe from Herbal Gardens’ website)
In terms of ingredients, the only thing I modified was adding basil leaves to infuse the simple syrup (I pulled 8 leaves, gave them a quick chop and added to the water sugar mixture before it started to boil) . Using equal parts sugar to water, I made a little extra syrup because I thought it would be a really tasty topper for fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream and I wanted to try making a lemonade basil cocktail with it. More to come on those...
My changes in process included using my handy-dandy Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet maker because I am not a patient person and it helped to speed the process up significantly. I froze the initial liquid for about 4 hours, transferred to the blender and processed with one egg white and then transferred it to the ice cream maker. My machine takes about 20-25 minutes to get the sorbet to a good consistency and then it only took about 2 hours in the freezer to get to that right serving temp. I also like the texture that's created while churning away in the machine.
One last note, I think the 'yields 4 servings' is an understatement. I was able to pack my quart-sized ice cream freezer container to the brim with the quantities listed above. Also, because the sorbet is so tart, it is best served as a tasting rather than a heaping scoop which means you can get a lot more than 4 servings out of this recipe.
One thing is for sure, it is a delicious and refreshing way to kick off summer!