The Summer on the Sun continues. It’s so hot I can’t think. Or move. One thing that has flourished in the heat of the Summer of Hellfire is my basil. It’s out of control. What’s a girl to do when she’s made all the pesto she can handle? I say make sorbet.Seriously, you probably have the stuff to make this right now. Got basil? Check. Got sugar? Check. Got lemons? Check. Assuming you have potable water too, you’re good to go. That’s it. Actually, a few (3 or 4) small mint leaves wouldn’t go amiss in this either. But alas, my mint gave up the ghost a few weeks ago. So I didn’t add any. You could. Or not.It’s up to you.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 or 4 lemons
- ½ cup basil leaves, packed
Zest one whole lemon in large pieces (see notes). Set zest aside, reserving lemon. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, making a simple syrup. Let boil 2 minutes to ensure all sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat and cool slightly for 2 minutes. Add basil and lemon zest pieces. Pour into a metal or glass bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool completely, 1-3 hours or overnight. While syrup is cooling, juice lemons. You should have at least ½ cup. Place lemon juice in refrigerator to chill. You want all your ingredients to be as cold as possible before placing in your ice cream machine.
When syrup and juice are cold, strain syrup into a large measuring cup. Discard lemon peel and basil. Add lemon juice to syrup and stir well to combine. Pour into bowl of ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on your machine it should take anywhere from 20-40 minutes. I have the Kitchen Aid bowl attachment and it took about 30 minutes, plus an extra 30-45 minutes to freeze after churning. Serve in frozen glasses with extra basil as garnish.Notes:
- I usually use my microplane for zesting. But this is one case where you want big pieces. Use a zester (the kind for making twists for cocktails) or a vegetable peeler.