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Green Apple and Basil Sorbet

In Appetizer, Dessert, Fruit, Recipe, Snacks
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We made this little treat a few weeks back in an effort to use up some apple purée that I had stored in the freezer.  I had bought some raspberry purée some months ago to use in a really delicious strawberry-raspberry jam that we make for holiday gift-baskets.  For years, I used fresh raspberries for my jam, but the process of mashing them, and then pressing the purée through a tight sieve to strain out the seeds really put me in a bad way....it just took waaaaaay too long.

Of course, like any good specialty foods shopper, once I found a reliable source for fruit purées, I couldn't help but order a few more tubs in various flavors.  I mean, I was sure to be able to find some creative use for some passion fruit purée, or maybe green apple.... oh yeah, and how about blood orange? 

The stuff was like crack to me, I couldn't stop myself.  

So, for many months now, an entire shelve of our freezer (much to the dismay of my wife) has been commandeered by my fruit purée collection, all the little tubs patiently waiting for me to get off my fat can and do something with them.

Inspiration finally struck while we were having dinner a few weeks back at one of our favorite restaurants in Providence, Gracie's.  We were served an apple-basil sorbet as a palate cleanser between courses, and ding....ding...ding..., a bell went off in my head, I finally had a use for at east one of my cute little tubbies.  If you feel like buying a purée to make this sorbet, I highly recommend the online shop at L'Epicerie, where you can find them made by Sicoly, along with a treasure trove of other "crack like" items on which to spend your hard earned cash.

If on the other hand, you don't trust yourself to visit L'Epicerie and risk having to re-mortgage your home, making an apple purée from scratch couldn't be easier.  Simply take 3-4 granny smith apples, peel and core them, roughly chop them, and place them in a medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add about 1/8 cup of water to the pan to help the apples start steaming, then turn the heat to medium and put on the lid.  Stir occasionally until the apple is reduced to an applesauce like pulp.  Pour into a fine mesh strainer and let sit for 5 minutes to remove any excess liquid.  Pour the purée into a bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to use.

This sorbet is delicious, fresh and light, a perfect Spring or Summer treat.  Boris likes it even better than ice cream!


Green Apple and Basil Sorbet

by: Steve Dunn

(Print Friendly Version)


  • 2 cups green apple purée
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 ounce fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vodka (to help it maintain a smooth, "scoopable" texture when frozen)


  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved and you are left with a simple syrup.  Bring to a gentle boil, then remove from the heat and add the basil.  Stir to incorporate and let sit to infuse until the syrup has cooled to room temperature.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized mixing bowl and pour the syrup in to remove the basil leaves, pressing on the leaves to extract all their flavor.  To the basil syrup, add the apple purée, the lemon juice and the vodka, stir to mix and refrigerate until cold.
  3. Process the mixture according to your ice-cream machine maker's instructions.


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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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