Tag Archives: Sorbet

Basil Melon Sorbet

Sometimes, I decide I want to do something, and despite my previous plans it turns out in quite a different way than I originally intended.

I wanted to make ice cream (because it’s hot), and since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part II is coming out, I thought I’d make it butterbeer flavored.  Good idea, right?

Yes.  Except that I came home from school and wanted to use some of the basil from my CSA box, and there was an oh-so-ripe ($1) cantaloupe in the freezer, and making a cream-and-egg based butterscotch shortbread caramel ice cream just sounded so heavy and dense and waaay too rich for the occasion.

Luckily, I’m adaptable, and the ice cream maker is always in the freezer ready at a moment’s notice whether it’s to be filled with sorbet or custard.  And honestly?  Butterbeer ice cream can always happen later.

Basil Melon Sorbet  Basil Melon Sorbet Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • few sprigs fresh basil (about 20-30 leaves)
  • 1 cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed

I was lucky and happened to have the cantaloupe frozen before I started making this, which sped up the ice cream making process tremendously.  We bought the cantaloupe for a buck at the farmer’s market, so ripe it was about to burst–which necessitated it being frozen ASAP in plastic baggies for smoothies (so I thought).

Start off by making a basil-infused simple syrup.   Bring equal parts water and sugar to a simmer, until all the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add a handful of basil leaves (I counted out 20 leaves, all sizes) and allow the syrup to cool, then remove the basil leaves.  I only used about half of this syrup in the sorbet, and poured the rest into a jar–purpose to be determined later. 

You can decide how sweet and basil-y you want your sorbet to be as you do the next step.

Blend the frozen melon and half of the simple syrup together to form a puree–if your melon isn’t frozen, that’s okay!  It’ll just take a bit longer to freeze.  My cantaloupe had started to defrost at that point, so it was pretty easy to blend.  I also added 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves to the blender to have some pretty green basil flecks in the sorbet.

Once it’s blended, taste to decide if you want to add more of the basil simple syrup. 

Pour the puree into the container of the ice cream maker, and allow it to churn according to the machine’s directions.  If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just freeze it in a plastic container, stirring every once in a while to prevent large ice crystals from forming.

The basil taste was subtle but gorgeous with the fresh summer melon–quite refreshing.

It’s also a nice reminder that basil can be paired with sweets–it’s not just for pasta (though you may be seeing a pesto recipe in the very near future).

Moral of the story is, sometimes when things don’t go the way you planned, it works out even better.

And summer flowers!  Aren’t they nice?

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Strawberry-Banana Sorbet

I hate that period right after a really stressful and busy month when your body finally realizes it can relax for the first time in too long, lets its guard down, and BAM!  You’re sick.  I was starting to feel my body head down that road today, so I took a nice hour-long nap and drank tons of water.  I’m already feeling a little bit better, so I’m hoping I managed to ward it off.

It also helps that I made lots of yummy and frozen treats today, from ice pops to strawberry-banana sorbet.  All that cold fruit does a body good!

Strawberry-Banana Sorbet (inspired by this recipe)

  • 2 C frozen strawberries, roughly chopped–reserve 1/2 from the blender!
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 C cold water
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 t lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except for 1/2 C of diced strawberries.  Blend until smooth.

Pour into the tub of an ice cream maker (which should have been frozen overnight, or as directed) and allow it to churn the sorbet for about 15 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Add the 1/2 C chopped strawberries and continue to churn.  You can serve it immediately when it thickens as much as you want, or freeze it overnight to harden further.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just pour the strawberry-banana puree into a tub and stick in it the freezer, stirring it every half and hour or so until it reaches your desired consistency.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I let it freeze for another two hours, but we wanted to have some for dessert.  It’ll probably be the perfect scooping consistency tomorrow.

The strawberry-banana flavor was seriously good.  Just enough tart strawberry perfectly mellowed out by the smooth banana (and the strawberry chunks just add that extra oomph).

Fritz, who loves ice cream and all things frozen (due to that heat-regulation problem that all men seem to have), says that it was really refreshing.  I’m excited to make more sorbet–I’m thinking a mojito flavor might be my next one!  Sadly, rum doesn’t freeze well…but I’m okay with having the rum on the side.

I also went over to my friend Gill’s house today, and made ice pops with another friend, Laura, and her daughter.  These ice pops freeze instantly “right in front of your eyes”, which makes them extra fun for layering and decorating.  We were definitely rookies, but it did give me some fun ideas for how I might make other frozen stuff in the future.

Here’s what we made:

The one I made was layered cranberry and lemonade with lime slices in the middle–yum.

And of course, how could I resist playing with my new camera with an adorable baby around?  I took about a million pictures of Laura’s daughter, Lila:

Isn’t she cute?

I’m a little sad because my sister has been sick for the last few days, and the doctor thinks she might have mono.  If so, our Boston trip is off, but we’ll see how she feels tomorrow before we decide whether to drive there for a visit.  Get better, Kristen!!

I’ll bring you some sorbet, if it helps.

Oh, one last thing (so many things to talk about today!).  I stopped at a little-old-lady church thrift shop today, and look what I walked away with for the outrageous price of 25 cents?

The sweet woman I bought it from laughed and said “Wow, you’ll have to eat a lot of oatmeal to fill that bowl!”

If only she knew.

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