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?