I'm loving this book La Vita Dolce by Letitia Clark so much I did a wild and crazy thing and attempted this beautiful recipe for Peach and Basil Sorbetto or Sorbet. It took days, not helped when the freezer decided to take a holiday in the middle of the process. I don't have an ice cream machine another reason the process was long. I will say however that the time given was fun and the end product worth it.
I always want to be a sorbet sort of person, but inevitably I fall ( willingly) down the pistachio gelato rabbit-hole, and I almost never order gelato's frostier and fruitier sorbetto sister. The problem with sorbet is that I find it can be a little bit too light. Most of the time I feel the need for something a bit denser. That is why this sorbet is so wonderful, because the velvety peach purée that it produces has substantial body, and doesn't really feel flimsily light at all; instead silky, thick and luxurious.
Makes 1 litre ( 34 fl oz /4 cups)
200g ( 7oz/3/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp )sugar
100ml ( 31/2 flood/scant 1/2 cup ) water
20 leaves of fresh basil, washed, patted dry and torn ( one bunch should easily supply this many)
750g ( 1 lb 10 oz ) very ripe peaches
zest and juice of 2 lemons
Bring the sugar. and water to the boil in a small saucepan. Allow to simmer for 1 minute (swirl the pan to make sure the sugar has melted but do not stir) Once you have a clear, shiny thick syrup, remove from the heat. Drop in the basil leaves, then decant the syrup into a glass jug or bowl to cool. Cover
Cut the peaches into chunks and macerate them with the lemon zest and the lemon juice. ( I just peel this in strips with a swivel-peeler here as everything will be blitzed and strained eventually but you can finely zest if if you prefer )
When the syrup has cooled, pour it over the peaches and leave the whole lot. to infuse for a few hours at room temperature ( or covered in the fridge overnight).
Blend everything ( leaves, zest and peach flesh ) in a blender until you have a smooth pur´ee.
Sieve the mixture, discarding the bits of basil left behind in the sieve, making sure to press the pulp to extract all the flavours and juices.
Transfer to an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Store in an airtight container.
IF you do not have an ice cream machine but you really really want to make ice cream, don't worry, you still can! The ice creams made with cornflour can be frozen and scooped straight from the tub, as they are naturally chewy in texture.
Other recipes will need to be stirred/whisked/blitzed during the freezing process to prevent ice crystals forming. To make ice cream this way...
Pour your mix into a shallow container and cover with baking parchment. Place in the freezer.
After 90 minutes whisk ( with a hand whisk) or blitz ( in a blender or food processor) the mixture and then return it to the container and freezer.
Repeat the process at least twice at intervals of 90 minutes!
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Your sorbet in that Italian glass dish looks amazing …. St Valentines surprise for Greg? Definitely a recipe of love…. ❤️❤️❤️
You picked it Lilli…certainly it was a labour of love!