Recipe: Basil or Mint Sorbet
There was a special request for a basil or mint sorbet.
This is a little more tricky, since there isn’t much there there when it comes to herbs and their volume. A handful of mint doesn’t have the same effect as a handful of berries, especially when there’s no dairy base to hold up the flavor. In many dessert recipes, apples are used as a base when bulk is needed, but not an overwhelming flavor. This sorbet recipe cooks down tart green apples, then outdoes their flavor with herbs.
Basil or Mint Sorbet
makes about 2 pints, or 5 cups
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cups sugar
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2-3 cups packed basil or mint leaves, plus 1/4 extra for garnish.
1/2 cup apple juice
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water and the sugar to a boil. Add the apples, and simmer over medium-low flame for about 2-3 minutes, or until apples easily break apart with a wooden spoon. Add the basil leaves. Cover, remove from heat, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, stir in the lemon juice, and allow to cool in refrigerator, or over a larger bowl of ice water.
Pour mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When sorbet is frozen (it will still seem quite soft), transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.
Before serving, garnish with a chiffonade of basil or mint leaves.
(photo: Xianhang Zhang, who takes pictures of his food, which is good since we obviously don’t always do the same – his photo looks somewhat like this recipe might look.)