Blackberry Basil Sorbet

Blackberry Basil Sorbet with Lavender Cookie.
Thornless Ouchita blackberries are a breeze to pick.
We've been growing thornless blackberries for a decade or more. They're disease resistant, reliable producers and have wonderful flavor. Last night we made my favorite, Blackberry-Basil Sorbet.

Dark Opal basil.

Purple Ruffles basil.

Greek Columnar basil works great, too.

I first concocted this tasty dessert many years ago. There was a film crew and a t.v. host coming from one of the t.v. stations in Little Rock, AR to do a story on my garden. They were to arrive at 10:30 a.m.

 I learned years ago that when media people are coming that close to meal time, if I feed them from the garden, they make the connection that garden is, first and foremost. food, not just a pretty landscape. So, I planned a pretty adventurous journey into garden foods for the crew. As I was walking in the garden thinking about what I wanted them to focus on, it struck me - oh my gosh, I  had planned the complete meal, but no dessert! I wandered the herb beds and saw the Dark Opal basil and it occurred to me - purple basil + blackberries should make a good combination.

New these are about $60 but they're pretty easy to find at thrift shops for $5.

I always keep my ($5 yard sale find) Donvier sorbet maker in the freezer, almost year 'round. Just the day before I'd picked blackberries and turned them into juice in readiness for making jelly. The juice was cold - a requirement for making sorbet (if you start with hot or warm juice, it may not freeze correctly). Since it only takes 15 minutes start to finish to make a batch of sorbet, I gathered the basil and took it to the house. The crew was due to arrive at 10:30, it was already now 10:15. I put the basil in a blender, added the juice, some sugar and fresh lemon juice and whirred it up smooth. I poured the mixture into the frozen container of the Donvier mixer and cranked it a turn every couple of minutes. It was finished just as they drove into the driveway.

Lots and lots of great recipes for sorbet.

My recipe is at the end of this post, is from my book, Fabulous Herb and Flower Sorbets. Summertime is a great time for making these simple, quick desserts. I've gone to using Truvia/Stevia in place of sugar, so the desserts are low-calorie, healthy and fantastic on hot summer evenings!

You can order the book from my website. You'll also find it in many seed company catalogs and websites. Making sorbet is so easy, you'll laugh and wonder why you haven't been making them before. Even a bottle of cranberry-raspberry juice can be turned into easy sorbet in just minutes! (Recipes in my book).

Hally Tatum, amazed at how fast it was to make sorbet.

You know when it's done because you can't turn the crank any longer.Last night we had guests from Arkansas, Dr. Hally Tatum and his daughter, Lisa (husband and daughter of the late Billy Joe Tatum). I gave the job of making sorbet to Hally. He said he'd never made sorbet before, but with a turn of the crank every couple of minutes during conversation, the sorbet was done in about 12 minutes.

Blackberry Basil Sorbet

from Fabulous Herb and Flower Sorbets

Approx. 4 cups blackberry juice, strained of seed
2 4-inch sprigs any kind basil, leaves and stems
3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup stevia or Truvia
Juice of 1 freshly-squeezed lemon

Pour into a blender and blend until the basil is no longer visible - about 2 minutes
Chill the juice for at least 2 hours.

Pour into sorbet maker, filling three-fourths of the way to the top. Turn (or turn on if using electric sorbet maker) and turn every couple of minutes until frozen - about 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately or put in refrigerator for 30 minutes until ready to serve. (I served this with my Lavender Cookies).

Blackberry Basil Sorbet, Lavender cookie, blueberries and whipped cream.

Hally, Lisa, Josh, with lightning bugs in the background. I love summer!

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