Cherry Basil Sorbet
Everything comes full circle somehow. It doesn’t matter if it is fashion, food, or even life experiences. I’m starting to realize that despite 29 years, geography, and even historical placement, my daughter and I are more similar than I expected.
On her last day of school, I helped out in the classroom as they had their year end party. One of her sweet friends politely greeted me. And all I could do was stare at her dress. You see, I had one just like it, once upon a time…layers of ruffle, a gauze-like floral, pretty (but itchy) smocking, and adorable straps that tied on bony shoulders.
That was the age I devoured the adventures of Laura Ingalls, paperback after paperback, episode upon teary episode. Those were the summers of Atari and pretend camp-outs with my cousins in their backyard. We would smuggle Styrofoam cups of steaming ramen into our makeshift tents (if that’s what you could call little tables covered with sheets), because that was camping food, of course. We would emerge from our hiding places into the hot sun to walk to the corner store for those yellow cups of Italian Ice. I would get cherry because each scrape of the wooden spoon would guarantee that my lips would be left with that bright stain. Like my lipstick? we would ask one another, giggling.
These days, I look forward to when my daughter and I re-read the Little House on the Prairie books before bed. She recently discovered re-runs of the show and when she comes home from camp, begs to watch an episode. Ataris are replaced by DSI’s, and backyard tents are always in demand.
Out here, there are no Italian ices at the local pizzeria. But there’s a frozen yogurt shop near every Starbucks. And moms like me who make homemade sorbet. Cherry Basil Sorbet.
My cherry sorbet grew up, like its maker. Made with freshly pitted cherries, and a simple syrup infused with a hint of fresh basil, one icy spoonful brought me back to those sticky summers of not-so-long-ago. The past is not so distant, after all.
Cherry Basil Sorbet
Yield: Makes about 1 quart.
I like the subtle hint of basil in this refreshing sorbet. If you prefer a simpler version, by all means, omit the basil.
1 cup simple syrup (to taste), see recipe below
2-3 leaves fresh basil
12-16 oz cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
Upon brewing your simple syrup, set aside 1 cup and allow the basil leaves to steep for an hour or two. Remove basil before using.
Put cherries, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a blender. Adjust sweetness as necessary, depending on the quality of the cherries. Blend and strain. Chill for at least an hour. The sorbet mixture can be made up 24 hours in advance.
Put mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for 20 to 30 minutes.
Store in an air tight container in the freezer.
Makes 3 cups.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Cool completely.