A peach and basil makes for a very summery sorbet combo. While its velvety peach purée produces substantial body, it doesn’t feel flimsily light at all; instead silky, thick and luxurious – and makes for the perfect dessert on a warm July night.
Ingredients (Makes 1 litre)
l 200g (7oz/0.75 cup, plus two tbsp) sugar
l 100ml (3.5fl oz/scant 0.5 cup) water
l 20 leaves of fresh basil, washed, patted dry and torn (one bunch should easily supply this many)
l 750g (1lb 10oz) very ripe peaches
l Zest and juice of two lemons
1. Bring the sugar and water to the boil in a small saucepan. Allow to simmer for one 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.
2. Cut the peaches into chunks and macerate them with the lemon zest and the lemon juice.
3. 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).
4. Blend everything – leaves, zest and peach flesh – in a blender until you have a smooth purée.
5. 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.
6. Transfer to an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container.