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.