Lemon Basil Sherbet

What does one do when she has four lemons leftover in the fridge? Think of a dessert to make with them, of course. I came across the recipe below as I was flipping through Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert. The heading “lemon-basil sherbet” immediately appealed to me because I had two pots of basil growing crazily on the ledge of my corridor. They definitely needed trimming. I made some small changes to the recipe in the book. The recipe (with my changes) is shared below.

The result was a thoroughly refreshing dessert. It was very tangy of course, with some hint of sweetness. The fragrance of the basil definitely came through. A perfect treat on a hot day.

Lemon Basil Sherbet
(Serves 10)

3/4 cup of lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of basil leaves
4 cups of milk
1 tbsp grated lemon zest


  1. Mix together sugar, lemon juice and basil leaves in a medium bowl. Let it sit for at least one hour, up to three hours.
  2. Stir the milk into the lemon juice mixture. The mixture will curdle a little. Strain the mixture, pressing on the basil leaves. Discard the leaves.
  3. Add the lemon zest and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a shallow tray and freeze till hard, about 4 hours.
  5. Break up the chunks of frozen mixture and process in a food processor until smooth.
  6. Freeze again till hard, at least four to five hours.
  7. If the sherbet is too hard to scoop, let it stand for a few minutes after removing from freezer.