Everyone is bound to go crazy with the pairing of basil and orange in this sorbet! Vegan and gluten-free friendly, anyone with special diets can enjoy this frozen treat!
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Summertime is in full swing now, I know I have told all of you that this is my favorite season of the year because of all the yummy foods that are at peak season this time of year! There are some yummy treats that are most enjoyed this time of year too! If ice cream isn’t your thing, I’ve you covered. You need to try this basil and orange sorbet!
I know that a lot of you might be thinking that I’ve lost my mind with this Orange Basil sorbet. Orange and basil go together?! They totally do! I do enjoy basil in a sweet application as well as savory; it pairs really well with mint. This sorbet is super light and refreshing can act as a palate cleanser. The undertone of pepper found in basil plays off well of the sweet, clean citrus taste of the orange.
What is Sorbet
Sorbet is a, usually, fruity sweet frozen treat. The French call it sherbet and the Italians call it sorbetto. The only difference between a sorbet and a French sherbet is that sherbets usually contain milk within the recipe. Sorbet also has a softer consistency than sherbet, due to its high sugar content in the base.
Sorbet is sweet and frozen like ice cream, but sorbet is not ice cream or even gelato.
Unlike in ice cream, there aren’t any eggs in sorbet to help it “set.” The way we do this is by introducing a compound called pectin. You can buy it at the store just like gelatin but this is also found in the pith (the white bitter part) of citrus fruits and it’s also found in apple cores. If you can’t find pectin in your local grocery store, I would highly recommend using at least apple cores to help set your sorbet. Pectin is unlocked by bringing it up to a boil with the rest of the sorbets ingredients.
How to Make Sorbet
You can really use this sorbet recipe as a base for other fruit sorbets if you would like. Here is the base recipe:
- 4 ounces sugar
- 1 teaspoon pectin
- 8 ounces medium sugar syrup (you can use corn syrup)
- 1# or 16 fluid ounces of fruit or juice fruit
- .5 ounces lemon juice
With that base in mind, you could really make any sorbet that your heart desires! Any flavor you have floating in your mind and wish that they sold in stores, the world is now your oyster!
A simple tip to remember: sorbets are going to freeze quicker than ice creams because of their high sugar content. With my ice cream recipe, I spun my ice cream base for 20 minutes: for this base, I would only spin for 15 minutes at most. It freezes fast! You do still want to let it continue to ripen in the freezer but you’ll notice it sets up faster than an ice cream
Sorbet Stabilizer and What it Does For the Consistency
Because sorbet doesn’t contain any fat within it, there is a risk of the sorbet becoming icy. There are a few ways to counteract this.
- Using corn syrup as opposed to straight table sugar
- Using a sorbet stabilizer
My recipe calls for a sugar syrup or corn syrup. This helps with the smooth consistency that is desirable in sorbet because it lowers the freezing point of the sugar but not as much as granular sugar. The thick viscosity also helps round out the consistency.
Sorbet stabilizers work a lot like cornstarch does in a slurry. When cornstarch is added to some water and then mixed into a hot liquid, it thickens up that liquid. The same as the stabilizers. This creates a smooth consistency upon freezing and helps the sorbet to melt at a slower rate than those without.
I opt to not add a stabilizer to mine because I find that I don’t need it if I keep a good eye on my sorbet base spinning in the ice cream maker.
Sorbet as a Palate Cleanser
Now if you’re wanting to create a fancy, multi-course, gourmet dinner, you’ll often stumble across palate cleansers. Often time sorbets are used for this reason. Why?
It’s quite simple.
As you go on through a multi-course dinner, your palate gets somewhat overloaded with all of the different flavor information sent to it. The way to reset your palate is by introducing fresh and cleansing flavors, like this basil and orange sorbet, or like this granita. Sorbets are perfect because of the lack of fat content found within them. There is nothing to cover the tongue, like fat does, and acts like an eraser over your taste buds.
If you are wanting to do a palate cleanser, I would aim for adding a sorbet in between your salad and entrée. They even make great desserts to round out the dinner nicely.
I really do hope that you enjoy this seemingly unconventional flavor pairing and share it with others!
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Don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer? Or an ice cream attachment? No worries, you can still make my recipe using this method!
Everyone is bound to go crazy with the pairing or basil and orange in this sorbet! Vegan and gluten-free friendly, anyone with special diets can enjoy this frozen treat! A refreshing, unorthodox pairing of summer flavors!
- 4 ounces Sugar
- 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (this took about 6 BIG navel oranges)
- 1/2 ounce fresh basil chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
Juice each orange, making sure to strain the seeds. Save the shell of one orange and cut into eighths. Zest 1 orange. Combine juice, sugar, basil and shell of one orange into a medium sauce pan.
Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn off heat and let the juice mix steep for 20 minutes.
Strain juice mixture into a medium sized bowl, add zest and cool for 2 hours.
Take a pre-frozen ice cream maker and put together. Put sorbet base in ice cream maker and turn on to low setting. Spin mixture for 15 minutes.
Add basil leaves and stir to incorporate fully.
Put frozen mix into containers and allow to finish freezing 3-4 more hours or until completely set.
Scoop and enjoy.
I didn't add corn syrup to this base because the juice from the oranges was already sweet enough to reconcile not adding any.