Monday was the first day this year that felt remotely summerish here in Chicago…and by that I mean it felt HOT! What a deleriously wonderful feeling after soooo many months of cold. But wait….is that sweat I’m feeling?
I’d planned to spend most of my Monday in the kitchen and in front of the stove, so I was HOT. A friend recently asked me to bake some individual-sized chicken pot pies for her to give as gifts to some of her new mom friends (obviously a group that appreciates a home-cooked meal that someone else has prepared!). Of course, I was happy to help…and have been having a blast baking the pies and coming up with fun gift basket ideas complete with tea-towel “wrapping paper.”
That said, I was still HOT after spending an 80-degree afternoon roasting chicken, making cream sauce and simmering fresh veggies on the stovetop. So, its no surprise that my mind eventually started to wander toward cooler ideas — mainly SORBET
Though I’ve never been one to turn down ice cream, sorbet has become my favorite dessert in terms of summer refreshment…the fruit flavors burst in your mouth in a way that reminds you that Mother Nature is a genius. Plus sorbet is a relatively health choice, made with fruit, water and sugar.
Since I’d purchased a large bag of frozen organic peaches a few weeks ago on a whim, I already knew what the flavor would be. And then I remembered the gorgeous little bazil plant I purchased at the farmers market over the weekend and decided to mix things up a bit. After a quick google search, I found the most lovely (and incredibly simple!) recipe on the Tea & Cookies blog. I’ll let you visit her blog for the recipe, since I really didn’t make any changes — I will note a couple of items however:
– My frozen peaches were “regular”, not white peaches and they worked beautifully. I will note that they were some fancy organic brand I’d never seen before in the store, so I’d use caution when buying store-brand or other frozen fruit that might be of lesser quality. The fruit is really the star in sorbet and if you’re using fruit with an “off” taste, there is really nowhere for it to hide.
– My basil plant was so new, I was a bit afraid to ransack it, so I only used about 4 or 5 leaves in the water infusion, and another 2 0r 3 in the blender. The basil flavor came through very mellow, but if you use more it will pack a bigger punch. Also, I used regular basil (not Thai basil).
– My ice cream maker is still in storage, so I used the following method for freezing: When blended mixture is ready to freeze, dump in a glass casserole dish and place in the freezer for a few hours. When hard, scrape the mixture out of the dish and into the bowl of your stand mixer (or use a regular mixer) and beat until the sorbet is smooth. Place back in the glass dish and back in the freezer for a few more hours. To serve, let the dish set out just long enough to soften before scooping.
Garnish with extra basil if desired and enjoy (JiT was skeptical as usual, then went back for seconds).