Peach and Basil Sorbet

The perfect summer dessert: a sweet chill with a peppery spike of herbal excitement . . . The basil is subtle but important, and the peaches must be ripe golden beauties.
By | May 15, 2016


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


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ ounce) packed sliced or chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more to taste
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2½ pounds ripe yellow peaches, peeled and cut up (about 4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
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