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Recipe | Meyer Lemon & Basil Sorbet

Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet

Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet
As a consumer, my weakness is novelty. Instead of growing red tomatoes, I grow purple ones; instead of listening to No Doubt in junior high, I was obsessed with Pavement. I’ve always been slightly contrarian by nature and I think my appreciation for all things new and different stems from that.

When it comes to citrus fruit, this time of year is pretty good for novelty. I’m not much of a citrus eater the rest of the year, but winter is different. There’s Satsumas and Minneolas and Blood Oranges and they’re all readily available and affordable. And unlike regular oranges and tangerines, I like these kinds of citrus. When I saw Meyer lemons at the grocery store, I knew I wanted to try making a sorbet with them. Their deep yellow rind was so bright and cheerful and it made the regular lemons a few bins away look so boring and blah.

Basil and Meyer Lemons
The darker rind comes from the fact that Meyer lemons originated by crossing lemons with oranges. Although the appeal of Meyer lemons is that they’re sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons, I’ve found that they’re still a little too sour for my tastes. So yes, there’s lots of sugar in this recipe. Not only is it needed to balance the tartness of the lemon juice, but also keep in mind that freezing anything will dull the flavor; the sweetness of the sorbet mixture is toned down once it’s frozen.

Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet Ingredients
If you’re put off by the inclusion of basil in this recipe, don’t be–the basil is infused into the simple syrup, so it only imparts a little hint of flavor. On the other hand, if you’d like to intensify the basilyness (it’s a word if I say it is!), try adding Thai basil instead or simply cut the basil leaves into ribbons before immersing them in the syrup and don’t strain the syrup before combining it with the lemon juice.

The sad thing about this Meyer Lemon & Basil Sorbet is that it’s totally perfect for summer, but you have to make it when Meyer lemons are in season, in the middle of winter. But really, you should buy them while you can–they are tasty.

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Meyer Lemon & Basil Sorbet

Meyer Lemon and Basil Sorbet (Single)

A sweet and tart basil-infused Meyer lemon sorbet. Substitute regular lemons if Meyer lemons are not available.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. basil leaves, packed
  • 1 c. fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to whisk, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add basil leaves to syrup and cool to room temperature. Once mixture has cooked, transfer to a large bowl and cover. Place syrup in refrigerator and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Strain syrup through sieve to remove basil; squeeze out remaining liquid from basil leaves and discard. Whisk lemon juice and zest into basil syrup.
  4. Add lemon-basil mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once sorbet is solid, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

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50 Comments

  • Reply
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 27, 2012 at 8:50 am

    That looks lovely and a good palate cleanser between courses too! That might be a good thing to have on hand in the freezer when you’re doing a big ol recipe rampage.

    BTW, the pics are GORGEOUS!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      I just learned about that whole sorbet-as-palate-cleanser thing a few months ago. I was at a restaurant and they served strawberry sorbet and I was all, “Huh? But I didn’t order strawberry sorbet! Why are we having dessert already? I AM CONFUSED.” You can’t take me anywhere, right?

  • Reply
    Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama
    February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

    This looks so good! Great pictures. I love meyer lemons and sorbet!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      I love sorbet too–now that I know how easy it is to make, I don’t think I’m going to buy it anymore!

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    You are absolutely amazing. You know that? Delicious!

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Yep, I want to move in with you. Got room? This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Ninja
    February 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    This post both warms and breaks my heart. Warms because I LOVE Meyer lemons and have been considering getting an ice cream maker but worried we’d just … well … eat ice cream all the time! And that’s not good for our waistlines. But your sorbet sounds lovely! Now the heart-breaking part — we used to live in SoCal and had a GIGANTIC mature Meyer lemon tree that produced literally hundreds of lemons. I considered digging it up when we moved to North Carolina but, alas, it was about 9 feet tall. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still miss it every day.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Oh, get the ice cream maker! I wanted one for about a year before I took the plunge and I love it. Homemade ice cream tastes a million times better than anything you can buy and in addition to ice cream, you can make healthier treats like sorbets. If you use fruit that’s sweet to start with, you can get away with using much less sugar.

      I’m so sorry about your Meyer lemon tree–my heart would be broken too! Can you convince the new owners to send you a box or two of lemons each winter? ๐Ÿ˜‰ (BTW, we relocated to NC too, from Wisconsin.)

      • Reply
        Kitchen Ninja
        February 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        OK, you’ve convinced me to get the ice cream maker! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your early NC spring — we moved (again!) to Vermont from Chapel Hill about 1.5 years ago.

        • Reply
          The Type A Housewife
          February 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

          I love Chapel Hill! And yes, I am already enjoying the early spring–I think it may have started in December with all the 60 degree days we had! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Virginia from That Bald Chick
    February 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    So yummy and beautiful!

  • Reply
    Kenda
    February 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    These photos are making me want to lick my computer screen. Just sayin. lol

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    February 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Mmm…pinning this!

  • Reply
    Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook
    February 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Meyers are my favorite. I freeze them whole so I have them year round! I’d love to try the sorbet, sounds nice with the basil! Your pictures are delicious!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Ah, you are so smart! I should do that! I didn’t realize you could freeze them…

      • Reply
        Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook
        February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        I do it with limes, too! In ziploc bags. Don’t even bother to zest or juice. Just zest them frozen and thaw it for slices and juice. works like a charm.

        • Reply
          The Type A Housewife
          February 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

          I am definitely doing this! I always end up with leftover lemons and limes when a recipe calls for zest or juice & my husband just eats them straight so they don’t go to waste (ha!), so now I’ll freeze them instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jaclyn
    February 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Lovely pictures! I’ve never tried meyer lemons, but am very intrigued now! Feel free to submit your healthy food photos to our sharing gallery: http://healthfreakfood.tumblr.com/

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      They are so good! I’m not good at describing flavors, but they’re like regular lemons but with more depth and complexity. I’m going to check out your website–thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    February 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Speaking of novelty, that turquoise plate is adorable! I’ve always wanted to try Meyer lemons but none of the 3 supermarkets in my neighborhood has them. I might have to venture out to Whole Foods. Lemon and basil together sounds really refreshing.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you! It was on clearance for $1.99 or something obscene like that from Crate & Barrel. So obviously, there was no question, I had to buy it.

      There were two grocery stores here that had Meyer lemons (including Whole Foods) and they don’t seem to be stocking them anymore. So either they sold out or the season is already over!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    February 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Love the way you serve the sorbet in the lemon! Wow you are just so amazing!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      I’m really not! We went to a wedding a few years ago and they served sorbet like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Audrey
    February 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    That is so cute. I’ve seen bread hollowed out but never a lemon. So creative!!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you! I ruined about 5 of them before I got some that were usable, so don’t be too impressed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Smedette
    February 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Beautiful! Both (main) ingredients evoke such powerful scent memories. Will have to try this.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Make it soon! Because I already can’t find Meyer lemons anymore. ๐Ÿ™ Oh well, at least Minneolas are still plentiful.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Measurement
    February 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I LOVE the presentation of the sorbet in the lemon shells. I may have to cheat a buy ready-made lemon sorbet then serve it in little lemon cups. Neautiful presentation for a party.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you! And don’t worry, if you cheat and buy your sorbet, I won’t say a word. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    snixykitchen
    February 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Yum! This looks delicious. My boyfriend requested that I make this for him. Now all I need is an ice cream maker!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Everyone needs an ice cream maker. ๐Ÿ™‚ But this would make a good granita too!

  • Reply
    Toni @ A Daily Dose
    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    That loosk SO GOOD! I love sorbet and lemons so I am guessing I would love this.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 29, 2012 at 8:09 am

      Thank you! Yes, if you love lemons and sorbet, you will love lemon sorbet. It’s kind of like lemonade in ice cream form. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Gretchen
    February 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I love lemon basil sorbet! I made a Citrus Basil Sorbetto on my site this past summer and loved it. http://veggiegrettie.com/2011/07/28/citrus-basil-sorbetto/

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Ah, you put yours in lemons too! Next time I’m going to try using oranges and limes in mine too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Julie
    February 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Seriously – you didn’t listen to No Doubt? I don’t know if we can be friends anymore!

    Anyways, I guess I’ll forgive you only if you send me some of this. I love anything (especially ice creams and sorbets) with basil!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      I was totally the girl who would like bands and then the minute they got popular, I would hate them. I was such a joy.

      I love anything with basil too! Have you tried holy basil? I’m growing that this year–I’ve only had it in a pesto we used to buy at the farmers market in Madison and it is strooooong!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    March 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    WOW, those pictures are AMAZING!! they make me want to go and make this recipe asap!!

  • Reply
    K&B N.
    March 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    This is a great way to utilize Meyer Lemon’s ! Everyone just seems to love them nowadays

  • Reply
    Johanna @ Mama Chocolate
    March 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    This sounds delicious! I’ve been really wanting to try a sorbet recipe, and I think I’d really like this one!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Thank you! This is the first sorbet I made and it’s definitely easy to do–I can’t wait until summer gets here and we’ll have more fruit to choose from!

  • Reply
    Janelle
    March 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Made this today with Meyer lemons a friend gave me, had never heard of them before. I happen to have a fresh basil plant in my kitchen and the result was fantastic! Thank you for the refreshing treat!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

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