Strawberry Purple Basil Sherbet

I’m calling this a sherbet though it may technically be ice cream. Mr. and Mrs. Wikipedia say that sherbet has between 1 and 2% milk fat. This recipe uses half and half, but has a pretty high water content from the strawberries. It’s more refreshing than creamy. I’ll let you decide. All I know is it’s delicious.

I’m a little weird about strawberries. Love them fresh, sliced, and blended. Don’t like them cooked, and usually I don’t like strawberry ice cream. But this combo is fantastic and I actually kind of love it. The basil adds a lot of depth to the flavor and the almond is fantastic. Its based on this recipe which is a little creamier.

I don’t have the time or patience for real custard ice cream, so I stumbled on a kulfi-like Indian influenced recipe and thought it might be just the thing. It was! I changed the proportions  and ingredients up, but kept the process pretty much identical to the original.

1 carton (pint) organic half and half
1 large carton fresh strawberries
handful purple basil leaves
3/4 c sugar or to taste
pinch lemon zest
1/2 c blanched toasted almonds
pinch salt
pinch cardamom
2 tsp vodka

Blend strawberries, basil, half and half, sugar, and lemon zest until smooth. Grind almonds in food processor or coffee grinder until crumbly but not emulsified. Mix in salt and cardamom. Pour strawberry mixture into a glass bowl and whisk in almond mixture. Chill in refrigerator until cold. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s specifications. Add vodka and freeze for another 10 minutes. Spoon into freezer container and freeze until firm.

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