Lemon Basil Sorbet

If you’re searching for a refreshing dessert that delights the senses, look no further than Lemon Basil Sorbet. This treat combines the bright, tangy flavor of lemon with the aromatic essence of fresh basil, creating a perfect palate cleanser. The sweet and tart notes of this sorbet make it an ideal ending to any meal.

To make Lemon Basil Sorbet, you only need a few simple ingredients: lemon zest, basil, sugar, water, salt, and lemon juice. The process involves creating a syrup with the basil and lemon zest, then blending it with fresh lemon juice for a burst of citrus flavor. An ice cream maker will help achieve the smooth, icy texture that defines a great sorbet.

Bringing this dessert to your table provides a unique way to enjoy the classic pairing of citrus and herbs. Whether you serve it on a hot summer day or as a light finish to a dinner party, Lemon Basil Sorbet is sure to impress with its vibrant and refreshing taste.

Preparing the Lemon Basil Syrup

To make the lemon basil syrup, you will need to create a simple syrup, infuse it with fresh basil, and then add lemon zest and juice for a refreshing flavor.

Creating the Simple Syrup

Start by pouring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar into a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. This should take about 5-7 minutes. The goal is to create a clear syrup without any undissolved sugar granules.

Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the syrup to cool slightly. It should not be boiling when you add other ingredients as excessive heat can alter flavors negatively.

Infusing the Basil Flavor

Add a handful of fresh basil leaves to the warm syrup. Cover the saucepan and let the basil steep for about 30 minutes. This steeping process allows the basil’s flavors to infuse thoroughly into the syrup.

Stir occasionally to ensure even flavor distribution. After 30 minutes, strain the syrup to remove the basil leaves. Discard the leaves as they will have lost most of their flavor by this point.

Adding Lemon Zest and Juice

While the basil is steeping, you can prepare the lemon zest and juice. Use a fine grater to zest 1-2 lemons, making sure to avoid the bitter white pith.

Once the basil has been strained out, stir in 1-1.5 tablespoons of lemon zest into the syrup. Follow this by adding the freshly squeezed juice of the zested lemons. Aim for about 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice, but adjust based on your taste preference.

Mix everything well and let the syrup chill in the refrigerator until it is completely cool. This process ensures that the flavors meld together perfectly.

Churning and Freezing

Properly churning and freezing your lemon basil sorbet ensures a smooth and refreshing texture. You need the right equipment, method, and storage tips to achieve the best results.

Churning the Sorbet

To churn your sorbet, pour the cooled lemon mixture into an ice cream maker. Set the machine to churn for about 15–20 minutes. This process incorporates air and turns the liquid into a slushy, semi-frozen dessert. Ensure the mixture is well-chilled before churning, as it freezes better and creates a smoother texture.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use a blender. Blend the chilled mixture until smooth, then transfer it to a shallow dish and place it in your freezer. Stir every 30 minutes to break up ice crystals until it reaches the desired consistency.

Freezing and Storing Tips

After churning, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container. Cover the surface with plastic wrap before sealing the lid to prevent ice crystals from forming. Place the container in the freezer and let it freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

For the best texture, make sure your freezer is set to the proper temperature, around 0°F (-18°C). Try to keep the sorbet in the back of the freezer where temperatures are more stable. If you plan to store it for longer periods, sprinkle a small amount of kosher salt in the container to help control the temperature and consistency.

Serving Suggestions and Garnish

When you’re ready to serve, let the sorbet sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly. Scoop generous portions into serving bowls. Garnish each serving with fresh basil sprigs for a pop of color and added aroma.

To enhance the flavor, you can also add a drizzle of lemon syrup or top with a few grates of lemon zest. For an elegant touch, serve the sorbet in chilled glasses or hollowed-out lemon halves. Pairing the sorbet with a light lemon cream sauce can add a luxurious finish to your dessert.

Follow Us
Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
Follow Us
Latest posts by Cassie Marshall (see all)