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A deliciously tart sorbet!

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Sorbets, ice cream, and frozen yogurt, oh my!

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday and she had ONE request of me: to make lemon basil sorbet. I had two bags of lemon, two bunches of fresh basil, vegan sugar and running water. I was all set.

Simple syrup with lemon zest

Basil added to simple syrup

First I made simple syrup with vegan sugar, water and lemon zest. After the sugar dissolved completely, I realized that I better start on the lemons. But first the basil needed to steep in the syrup for half an hour. After using the BEST salad spinner ever (my father got a new one for father’s day, just my luck!!!), I sorted the leaves off the stems and threw them in the pot. I used two cups of pressed basil. Approximately 6 ounces, I believe.

Know what the best part was? The aroma. It was delicious. It was as if I was biting into lemon and basil at that moment, absolutely savory and tart. And that was only the scent lingering about. I had made this before, only the difference was I used basil from our garden. I didn’t have enough to do the same for my mother’s birthday. But that was due to the fact that I’ve been using them up like crazy for pesto, in my sauce, even in a breakfast salad with spinach, peaches and blueberries (which was the perfect way to start my day by the way).

Juicing the lemons!

Lemons galore!

Onward to  the lemons! The recipe calls for 3 cups of lemon juice. But due to my corn allergy, I cannot have

concentrate, so store-bought lemon juice is out. Fine by me. It just meant a little bit more work, but it guaranteed pure lemon juice. And a little bit of muscle work there as well. So after doing the math, I figured I needed juice from a dozen lemons. I had this juicer that my mother bought over in Ireland. It took me half an hour to juice twelve lemons. Just in time to add it to the syrup mixture. But I was amazed because when I made this before, my boyfriend helped me out. He had taken on the task of juicing the lemons. He did the same amount in TEN minutes! He is a BEAST! As much as I adore the tart smell of the fruit, I wished he was there to help out. Not just for his muscles, but also for his company. Cooking is always so much more pleasant when you’re doing it with somebody else!

After adding the lemon juice to the mixture, I transferred it all to a bowl and put it away in the refrigerator. It was time to let it infuse.

The next day, after wishing my mother a happy birthday, it was time to churn away the sorbet in the ice cream maker. But first, I strained it through a fine mesh. Now I have to say that as great as this recipe is, I think it’s too much for the maker. It went over the top of the maker, just a bit, but it didn’t overflow. But it means the very top of the sorbet didn’t get churned. But that was remedied by putting it in the freezer, and letting it solidify.

Not the prettiest picture, but tasted AH-MAZ-ING!

When it was time to serve it, the pure delight of it sent shivers down my spine. It’s PACKED with flavor, that you can’t just miss anything. Even my 4 1/2 years old cousin wanted more, and went on to tell us about how he was growing basil. A chef in the making!!!

I. Love. Basil. And. Lemons.

If you do too, this sorbet is it for you!

Now the recipe I used is from Cuisinart’s recipe book that came with the ice cream maker, with a slight modification. To make it vegan, use vegan sugar. Instead of regular lemon juice measuring up to 3 cups, just squeeze a dozen lemons. http://www.cuisinart.com/recipes/desserts/6025.html

It’s a favorite of mine! And my Mom’s too. I just came across this other recipe using basil from a favorite blog of mine: cherry basil soda. Oh, I’m trying that next!

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