Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small stainless steel pot and heat it gently, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the basil and a pinch of salt and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool completely. Strain the syrup and reserve the basil. You should have 1¼ cups syrup.
Put the peaches in a blender, add the cooled syrup and the lemon juice, and purée. Add about 1 teaspoon of the reserved basil and pulse a few times, just until the basil makes green flecks in the peach purée. For a more pronounced basil flavor, add a teaspoon or so of finely chopped raw basil.
Chill the mixture well, then freeze it in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a chilled container, cover tightly, and put it in the freezer for about 2 hours to firm up.
Makes a little more than 1 quart.
About this recipe
Editor’s Note: This recipe is perfect for the Valley, where basil grows in abundance all summer long. Peaches make a fleeting appearance in local orchards and in home gardens in May. (The Schnepf Farms annual peach festival is a local favorite, see schnepffarms.com).