Strawberry, lemon and basil sorbet

So much for spring.

St. Louis isn't exactly known for its pleasant climate. During the spring, one day it will be 100 degrees and so humid you can practically drink the air, and the next day, you may be turning on the heat and scraping ice from your car windows. This past week was one of those unreasonably hot ones. My mom and I usually enjoy coffee and breakfast on our back patio every morning, but somehow this gets less enjoyable when it's already 80 at 8 am. I probably shouldn't complain after an incredibly mild winter, but May is just being cruel.
Enter fruit sorbet. I have a conditional love for ice cream, but my love for sorbet is unending. Always clean and refreshing. Exactly what's needed on a 95 degree spring day. Not to mention the fact that it has plenty of vitamin C.
I've made my share of sorbets, and this recipe is by far my favorite. It's perfect. A great balance of three flavors that marry so nicely. 

Strawberry, lemon and basil sorbet
Makes about 1 quart

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pound hulled strawberries (I used thawed from frozen)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3-4 juicy lemons)
Zest from 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  1. Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan and heating on the stove until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Place the strawberries in a food processor and blend smooth.
  3. Add the strawberry puree, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the simple syrup.  Place half of the basil leaves (no need to chop them) into the simple syrup strawberry mixture and allow to steep for ~3 minutes.  Remove the whole basil leaves after steeping. 
  4. Finely chop the remaining basil leaves and add to the mixture.
  5. Chill in the fridge or freezer until cold, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  To make sorbet without an ice cream maker, simply pour the mixture into a large metal baking pan and place in the freezer, stirring every 30 minutes until frozen. 
Serve slightly slushy with a couple of shortbread cookies and enjoy on a hot afternoon.

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