Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cherry-Thai Basil Sorbet: Refreshing, Unique & Delicious

Much as I try to eat as locally as possible, sometimes I have to cave in. For example when Whole Foods had big bags of beautiful Washington cherries for sale, I had to buy one. I ate a bunch and decided that I needed to make a sorbet out of the rest of them. Still enamoured by the pairing of strawberries and basil in this lemonade and watermelon and basil in this soup, cherry and basil seemed like a perfect pairing. The Thai basil I had on hand looked fresh and beautiful and because Thai basil is a bit stronger and more pungent than sweet basil, a little goes a long way. These were some very sweet cherries and I wanted to cut down on the processed sugar to make this a healthier option so I used a bit of agave nectar instead. I wasn't sure whether to cook the cherries or not, so I consulted the resource on all things ice cream, The Perfect Scoop to see what David Lebovitz had to say about cherries: "...their characteristic flavor really becomes pronounced when warmed, so I saute them first to deepen their luxurious flavor. Be sure to start with full flavored, very dark cherries, like plump Burlat cherries or blackish red Bing's."

Cherry-Thai Basil Sorbet 
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen (with cherry prep advice by The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz)
(Makes about 1 quart)

4 cups Bing cherries stemmed and pitted 
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp agave syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, warm the stemmed, pitted cherries, water, agave and lemon juice. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cherries are very soft and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let stand until cool, about room temperature. Place cherries and chopped basil in blender and puree until very smooth, then place mixture in fridge to chill completely, (preferably overnight). Freeze in ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Place sorbet in a freezer container and freeze until firm. Serve with a sprig of fresh Thai  basil and enjoy! 

Notes/Results: Refreshing and delicious! The sweetness and slight tartness of the cherries combines really well with the herbal taste of the basil; it is unique and really good. David Lebovitz is right, warming the cherries really brings out their full flavor. A scoop would be a nice, healthy and sophisticated way to end a summer's meal. A make-again recipe.

I am sending this along to the month-long Ice Cream Social being hosted by three wonderful bloggers  Tangled Noodle, Scotty Snacks, and Savor the Thyme. They will being doing a major round-up of everyone's ice cream and frozen concoctions after the end of the month.


Don't miss your chance to enter a great giveaway of a "Sweet Treats" prize package from the new Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes. 
You can find all the details for entering here


  1. Beautiful! So colourful, healthy and delicious. I would make this in a heartbeat. I love it!

  2. I think it's perfectly acceptable to branch out to the mainland's goods every once in a while. Especially for a sorbet as good as this one!

  3. What a beautiful color this is. I've never tasted basil sorbet or ice cream--Michael Chiarello made basil ice cream on an episode of Top Chef and paired it with chocolate and goat's milk and it got raves--but this looks deliciousl

  4. How gorgeous is that! I'm always amazed by how the right combination of a very few ingredients can produce something that makes your socks go up and down. I love your play of Thai basil against the cherries. This is a keeper for sure.

  5. I've never made sorbet before. Now I'm really needing to replace my ice cream maker (someone borrowed and never returned it and I can't remember who it was LOL). Your sorbet looks wonderful!

  6. I have this book too and have made the chocolate philly style ice cream, this sounds so good!

  7. What a beautiful sorbet. I love the basil and cherry combo!

  8. Wow, it is so very pretty! What color :) I don't think I've ever had cherries w/ basil...sounds great actually.

  9. This is fantastic! I made a citrus and basil sorbet but cherries sound so delicious.

    Oh, please, please consider participating in our Ice Cream Social (along with ScottySnacks and Savorthethyme) - this would be a great entry but I have to say that your apricot-cardamom fro-yo is FABULOUS, too! I'm printing that one out as well. 8-D


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)