• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
bloviatrix

Basil Sorbet

25 posts in this topic

At Per Se the other night, one of the courses they served was a tomato salad with basil sorbet. The sorbet was outstanding and I would love to recreate it (I think it would be great to serve this kind of salad). Anyone have any ideas? It was a brilliant green color. Plus, it wasn't sweet.

Since I don't want to use any sugar, do you think some vodka would be good so it doesn't get too hard?

Anyone have any experience with herb sorbets?


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At Per Se the other night, one of the courses they served was a tomato salad with basil sorbet. The sorbet was outstanding and I would love to recreate it (I think it would be great to serve this kind of salad). Anyone have any ideas? It was a brilliant green color. Plus, it wasn't sweet.

Since I don't want to use any sugar, do you think some vodka would be good so it doesn't get too hard?

Anyone have any experience with herb sorbets?

This recipe for Tomato Basil Sorbet looks appealing but you might wish to leave out the sugar ... and use a bit of your vodka as you mentioned ... :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks GG. But I want a basil only sorbet. No tomato, no lime, etc.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a basil sorbet recipe, but it uses sugar syrup. In fact, I might try making it as I have a huge quantity of basil growing on the fire escape. Sugar-free ice creams use gelatin and glycerin to produce the texture of ice cream made with sugar, but I couldn't say if that's really what you want to do here.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had another thought. You might be able to do something with egg white. A couple of egg whites might hold enough air to keep a low-sugar sorbet from getting too hard, and let the machine run a little longer than normal.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if it was made with a pacojet it might be difficult to replicate at home or in a sorbetiere...

regardless, if you try making it at 30 brix then you might get something on the less sweet side. try also increasing the salt content?

i don't know if by definition one can make a sorbet w/o sugar...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not add sugar? At least a little? My suggestion for making it bright green (since that is the first thing that impressed you) is make sure you use nice basil leafs, and leafs alone. Blanch them and then quickly shock, then puree them with the symple syrup (light on sugar if you must), but be careful not to heat the puree while it it pureeing above 110 degrees. Then cool the mixture quickly over an ice bath. You should have a bright green, basilly liquid that will make a nice sorbet. T.K probably adds chlorifyl to enhance the green so don't freit if yours isn't as vibrant.


"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your suggestions. I guess I'll start playing and I'll use a less concentrated sugar syrup.

Moopheus - can you share the recipe you have?


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
regardless, if you try making it at 30 brix then you might get something on the less sweet side. try also increasing the salt content?

i don't know if by definition one can make a sorbet w/o sugar...

You certainly do need some sugar to make a savory sorbet, unless you happen to have a PacoJet and therefore could make sort of basil ice that would last minutes and only be smooth because of the machine. I would also say to aim more along the lines of 18-20 brix for a savory sorbet; 30 brix is treading into dessert land for my preference. Either way, a nicely made basil puree thinned out with some simple syrup should be a blueprint for creating such a sorbet; at home at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next issue then: I understand, in theory, about brix (I knew all my reading about wine would pay off some day). But as a home cook how do I put it into practice? Is there an equation I need to be using to determine how much/little sugar to use?


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still patiently waiting for a recipe since I have a tree of basil in the backyard as well. I had a grapefruit/basil sorbet once. It was excellent and not very sweet.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is another not too speciic suggestion, but perhaos adding the right amount of olive oil could give you the perfect consistency. I recently made a corn ice cream and upon the first tasting it was too sweet and too hard and icy so i blended it with some olive oil and it turned out deliciously creamy and buttery. Now i'll have to try to work up a pesto gelato recpie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Michael Chiarello's (Food Network) - "Entertaining" show about vegetables, he made a basil gelato. The recipe may be on the Food Network website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's Michael Chiarello's recipe - Basil Ice Cream. It's not a savory sorbet, more icecream mixed with basil. However, his idea for using ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder to preserve bright green color of basil really works. I used it in pesto and basil butter with good success.

Here's a recipe for basil sorbet that includes tomatoes in the base. I suspect you can replace them with more water and a bit more simple syrup. I think you'll have to experiment to get it right :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first attempt is under way. The recipe I'm starting with calls for a sugar syrup (2.5 c water and 1.5 c sugar), quickly blanching 2 oz of basil leaves and then pureeing the two. I'll report back when it's complete.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The recipe I tried was way too sweet. But, the texture was perfect. And it retained a very pretty green color. For my next attempt I will use less sugar and add some vodka so it doesn't get too hard. For texture is there any particular subsitution ratio I should be using -- so, if I remove 1 cup sugar how much vodka should I add?


Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to consider a natural stabilizer to help give the mouth feel that you are looking for and cut back on the sugar so it is not too sweet. If you take the total weight of the sorbet mix (in grams) mulitiply it by .004 that would be the weight (in grams) of the stabilizer you'd want to add. I am suggesting apple pectin.

In terms of adding vodka, why not try something different like using an anise flavored liquor. There is a ratio of alcohol to sugar, given the proof. I got this from a pastry chef that I worked with a few years ago:

For 100 proof alcohol 25 grams of raw alcohol =100g of sugar.

I am hoping that the very talented pastry community here on egullet will be able to either verify and/or give additional help. I am working from old notebooks for these formulas, but I do remember them working pretty well. :wink:

Please do report back with your experiments. :cool:


Patrick Sheerin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting you should mention the anise flavored liquor. The thing that really struck up about my first attempt at the sorbet was just how strongly the anise flavors came through.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had another idea to get a really strong basil flavor, why not make your own aquavit, but infused with basil??? That way you have the alcohol to cut the sugar content and at the same time you are infusing additional basil flavor into the sorbet.


Patrick Sheerin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just had another idea to get a really strong basil flavor, why not make your own aquavit, but infused with basil???

How do I go about doing that?


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked through the Aquavit (restaurant) cookbook and the recipes are pretty basic. Pretty much using a neutral potato based liquor, (aquavit, vodka, etc) add fresh basil to it and let it steep for 6-8 weeks covered at room temperature. At that point decant and filter the liquid and store it in the freezer.


Patrick Sheerin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never used those apple pectins, the one we get is from Albert Uster. I don't have the exact information on it with me, but I do not think that it is any different from other apple pectins, in terms of gelling strength.

Although, I could be wrong.


Patrick Sheerin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread just kind of died last year without a recipe for the definitive basil sorbet. And I'd like to revive it - since I have more basil than I know what to do with - and a sorbet maker. I've found recipes for basil sorbet that use 10-12 leaves - but I have a huge amount (even after making 2 months worth of pesto). Any sorbet ideas that call for large amounts of basil?

Also - any other suggestions for using up the basil (before the caterpillars start on it) would be appreciated. Robyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.