Lemon Basil Sherbet

Lemon Basil Sherbet

The heat is finally on this summer and I picked up the idea for this sherbet in Germany from a little tiny mom and pop ice cream shop.

We stopped in for some ice cream and one of the labels I could actual translate was “Citrus-Basil”. Gee, that was a hard one!    I had tried the chocolate and the coconut the day before and they were both great so I decided to give this one a try.  It was lip puckering sweet sour with a lovely fresh basil finish, little bits of the herb were mixed throughout. I knew I had to try this when I got home to the southern California 100+ degree weather and as we know, I always grow basil.  Now if only my lemon tree would grow!

For ice cream or sherbet, I use a kitchenaid mixer with the ice-cream attachment. I have been successful with regular ice cream as well as lime sherbet with this method.  If you use one of this attachments, it will tell you to freeze the ice cream maker at least 24 hours before using.  Make sure you do this in a cold “0” degree freezer.  I find that even when I do that, I typically have to put the whole thing back in the freezer part way through churning and freeze it a another hour with the mixture inside.  That seems to work the best.  After churning place sherbet in a freezer container and freeze at least one hour before serving.

The version I came up with is more mellow, with basil infused throughout.  If you like the tartness of lemon, I suggest you reduce the sugar to 1 1/4 cups and do a taste test.  A little bowl of this is perfect on a hot summer afternoon or evening.  Oh yay, and it’s low fat….  Yippee!

Lemon Basil Sherbet – By Debra Crawford
Makes approximately 4 cups

1/4 –    Cup Plain Nonfat Yogurt
1/4 –    Cup Cottage Cheese
1 1/2 – Cup Sugar (start with 1 1/4 cup if you like it tart)
3 1/2 – Cups Water
1 –       Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/2 –    Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 –       Tablespoon Fresh Basil minced fine
A drop or two of yellow food coloring (optional)

Combine yogurt and cottage cheese in a blender and puree until it is smooth.  Set aside.

Combine sugar, water and lemon zest in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.  Add 1/2 of the basil, cover and reduce the heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Let mixture cool to room temperature.

Add the yogurt and cottage cheese mixture, along with the remaining basil and food coloring (optional) and chill in the fridge completely.  Place mixture in your frozen mixer ice cream attachment or freeze according to manufacturers instructions in an cream maker.  If, after 20 minutes, the mixture is not coming together, put the whole thing back in the freeze for an hour and try again.  Once the mixture thickens, place in a freezer proof, airtight container and freeze one hour to set before serving.

This mixture keeps nicely in the freezer, I’m going on two weeks with my last batch and it still tastes lovely.

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