Fresh, sun-ripened apricots and crisp, dry rosé pair up with fragrant Thai basil in this light and refreshing Blushing Apricot Sorbet... Not a dessert eater? This summery sorbet may change your mind when you taste it!
The flavors of the peach and the apricot are not lost from generation to generation. Neither are they transmitted by book learning.~~ Ezra Pound
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Apricot Sorbet
If you have followed me for any length of time, you probably know I am not a sweets eater. 🙂 That stems in part from years of self-discipline, but is also just a consequence of the fact that I really prefer savory to sweet.
However, I do make exceptions. When I make exceptions, I prefer light and refreshing over rich and decadent.
For Valentine's Day, I came up with a Mulled Red Wine and Plum Sorbet - a sorbet that hints of mulled red wine. I drew the inspiration for this apricot sorbet from that recipe.
Apricots represent summer to me, ever since I was a teenager in California's Central Valley outside Fresno. Sun-ripened apricots eaten warm and dripping with juice were (in my young mind) one of the few good things about summer in the Valley! I remember those lovely apricots, weeks of 110° plus days, and slaving over 2 acres of fig trees at 6:00 in the morning trying to beat the heat... I'm sure it really wasn't all that bad. 😉
Back to the sorbet... Really ripe apricots are key. The firm grocery store variety that must ripen on your counter just don't have as much flavor. If you can't find good ripe apricots, substitute ripe peaches or nectarines. The color won't be as vivid, though. 🙂 Sorbets highlight the fruit, so use the best quality fruit you can find.
Why Thai basil you might ask? Thai basil is a variety of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) with a distinct anise or licorice flavor. It is sometimes referred to as anise basil or licorice basil due to both scent and taste. The subtle flavor of anise works really well with the apricots. Substitute "regular" basil if you must! 😉
🍷 Wine in sorbet?
Lastly, I want to explain my choice of wine for this apricot sorbet. Alcohol lowers the freezing point of the sorbet, and improves the final texture. If you've ever looked forward to a scoop of creamy sorbet only to discover an icy, hard product, you know how disappointing that can be.
The wine cooks with the fruit, leaving behind no alcohol... It does work its magic on the texture! The choice of rosé was intentional. I wanted a crisp, fruity wine that has NO residual sweetness to compete with the fruit, and a pale enough color to allow the brilliance of the apricots to shine.
A dry rosé is perfect; Crios Rosé of Malbec is lovely. Most French or Spanish style rosés will work. If you can't find one, substitute a dry white. Don't substitute a blush wine like white zinfandel! Yuck! The residual sweetness will definitely be too much sugar in this recipe.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- apricots - Fully ripened apricots have the most sugar. Taste the mixture and add to it if your fruit is not fully ripe. The sorbet recipe also works with nectarines or peaches.
- wine - I've specified a dry rosé for this apricot sorbet recipe. You need a dry, fruit wine so as to not make the sorbet too sweet. The malbec rosé I used on photo day was perfect! The color didn't interfere with the color of the sorbet, and the crisp fruitiness complements the apricots. You can substitute an unoaked white wine, but don't use a white zinfandel or other high residual sugar wine.
- orange - You'll need both strips of zest and the juice.
- Thai basil - The anise/licorice flavor works really well, but you can substitute sweet basil or fresh mint.
- Cook the apricots - Add prepared apricots, rosé wine, sugar, water, orange zest, and a pinch of salt to a heavy medium saucepan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apricots fall apart, about 25 minutes.
- Purée the cooked apricots - Discard zest. Pour mixture into a deep mixing bowl, and allow it to cool. Purée using an immersion blender (see Tips below) until very smooth. Force purée through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl, discarding any solids. Stir in fresh orange juice.
- Chill the sorbet mix - Chill, covered, until cold, at least 1 ½ to 2 hours. NOTE: You can speed the process by chilling the apricot mixture in the freezer, but keep an eye on it! Add chopped basil.
- Freeze - Freeze purée in ice cream maker, then transfer sorbet to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, or serve immediately.
A sweet wine will mess with this recipe and make it too sweet! Choose a dry unoaked white if you can't find a rosé.
Thai basil has a distinct anise or licorice scent and taste that pairs beautifully with the apricots. Regular basil will do in a pinch, or even fresh mint.
If you don't have an immersion blender (you need one!), purée in a blender, but cool it first!
Peaches and nectarines will also be great in this sorbet recipe!
Chilling the purée in the freezer instead of the refrigerator cuts the time in half. Just don't forget about it!
Exposure to air is responsible for creating ice crystals on your sorbet. Store the sorbet in a good, air-tight container, and press a layer of plastic wrap over the surface of the sorbet prior to sealing it. It will keep longer that way (up to 1-2 months).
If you are at all interested in creating your own sorbet recipes, I highly recommend reading The Science of the Best Sorbet on the Serious Eats website. As the heat of summer looms in the northern hemisphere, sorbets hold so much appeal. I hope that you will make at least one this summer!
Apricot Sorbet With Thai Basil
- 1 pound ripe apricots - halved lengthwise and pitted
- ¾ cup dry rose wine see notes
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 3 by 1-inch strips of orange zest - removed with a vegetable peeler
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil - chopped; see Tips in post
- Add prepared apricots, rose wine, sugar, water, orange zest, and a pinch of salt to a heavy medium saucepan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apricots fall apart, about 25 minutes.
- Discard zest. Pour mixture into a deep mixing bowl, and allow it to cool. Purée using an immersion blender (see notes) until very smooth. Force purée through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl, discarding any solids. Stir in fresh orange juice.
- Chill, covered, until cold, at least 1 ½ to 2 hours. (See Tips in post). Add chopped basil.
- Freeze purée in ice cream maker, then transfer sorbet to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, or serve immediately.
- Using an ice cream scoop, place 2 rounded scoops into each glass. Garnish with a basil sprig if desired.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
I am confused, instructions state added the lemon juice and the spice bag.
In the ingredients you mention orange juice and thai basil.
Is the thai basil the "spice bag" or are there other spices included?
I am so sorry Bill! Thanks for catching the error... I based this sorbet off of another one of my recipes, and that managed to slip in when I copied and pasted. I try my best to not miss details 🙁 I even have my husband help me proofread. I apolizee for the confusion! I'm fixing it. Let me know if you make it?
I've had a peach and sweet basil ice cream before but your apricot Thai basil sorbet looks and sounds so much better. Love the extra flavor of anise in Thai vs. sweet basil and simply adore apricots. And yes, you just can't buy ripe sweet apricots like they were picked from a tree. We use to have an apricot tree and if it didn't just fall in your hands when touch, then it wasn't ripe. 🙂 Great sorbet!!!
Thanks so much MJ! I love the anise flavor of Thai basil, and was so pleased that they "play" so well together... I'd love to have an apricot tree for sure 🙂
Celeste | The Whole Serving says
I love to pairing of sweets with herbs. It takes it to a whole new level of goodness.
Thanks Celeste! I do as well, and I think the Thai basil with its hint of anise is so good with fresh apricots.
Oh give me a scoop of that right now! Looks delicious and thanks for the wine tips. I'll have to retry my sorbet recipes with wine now! Oh the life of a food blogger!
Haha, thanks Hanady! So many recipes, so little time 🙂
Mary @ StrawmarySmith says
Hi Tamara! I love sorbet and this one sounds so awesome. Thanks for the tip about apricots in grocery stores!
My pleasure Mary! I know we don't all have year-round access to local produce, but when we do, it sure makes the difference in our food 🙂
Sara | Life's Little Sweets says
I love the flavor pairings here! I could really go for a bowl of this sorbet, you have just transported me to Summer!
Thanks Sara! They are definitely remniscent of summer 🙂
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Yummy this sorbet looks so pretty and refreshing!! Wish I could try some right now...
It is both pretty and refreshing... Thanks Sam!
Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog says
Summer stones are the best! I love that the peaches are paired with apricot. What a combination! I didn't know that thai basil existed, but now I am very excited to find out.
Thai basil is pretty unique with its anise-like flavor. I hope you find some and give it a whirl! Thanks Mica!
jacqueline | i sugar coat it! says
I love the palate-cleansing freshness of sorbets. These flavours speak to me as I stare at my Thai basil plant in my kitchen. Will have to give this a go when summer rolls around.
Thank you Jacqueline! Thai basil has such a unique flavor... summer is pretty much year-round where I live. I do hope you give it a try when yours arrives!
Peter Block says
Such a cool combination of flavors. I really like the contrast of the apricot color with the green of the Thai basil.
Thank you Peter! I have wondered if people would consider it an odd combination, but it really does work 🙂
This sounds irresistable! The rose, ripe apricots and Thai basil sound like a match made in heaven.
Whew! I'm glad you think it sounds heavenly 🙂 I have a way of combining less-than-typical flavors... Thanks Kate!