Maple Watermelon Basil Sherbet

While out for a drive this past weekend to get some sweet corn for dinner we came across fresh local watermelons! This got us thinking, what could we make with watermelon and maple syrup?  A quick Google search and I came up with the perfect idea, sherbet! I was always partial to sherbet as a kid whenever we stopped at our usual ice cream spot on the drive home from our family’s cabin.  

After a bit of initial research, I attempted a recipe that I found. I went into it thinking it was going to be amazingly refreshing after our barbequed dinner on a hot summer day. It just so happened that my nephews were over that same evening (lucky for them!) so I had lots of eager taste-testers after dinner. The first reaction from all four kids (my two kids were taste testers to, of course)…. “It’s weird Auntie Amanda/Mommy” … bummer, that was not the reaction I was hoping for ☹️. Although they said it was strange, 3 of the 4 kids finished their scoop of sherbet.

As the kids sort of gobbled down the sherbet, the adults at the table pondered how it could be improved. The original recipe called for lime, so we swapped that out for lemon. The second change and definitely the best idea ever– add basil!! Richard ran out to our garden (if you have been into The Maple Sweet Shop lately you may have seen our basil plant, it’s kinda gotten huge over the summer) and picked a few leaves. He ran back inside, ripped a couple pieces from a leaf and added it to his sherbet. It was pretty melted by then (Richard doesn’t typically eat frozen desserts like ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, slushes…the list goes on, he has his reasons 🤷‍♀️). After a swirl of his spoon, he tasted it:

“Woah! It is amazing! That’s the perfect combination.”   

There it was, the perfect sherbet recipe. Now, to make it again. A few days later after the ice cream maker had sat in the freezer, I tried it again but with the improvements. The result… amazing! The perfect refreshing treat on a hot day. I quickly scooped it out and ran a few portions to our staff in the office. Everyone loved it! We have a winner!

So after a week of attempts and waiting for the ice cream maker bowl to freeze again and again, I give you the perfect August recipe:

Maple Watermelon Basil Sherbet! 🍉

What you need:

  • About half of a seedless watermelon 
  • Half of a lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup half and half cream
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, plus a few for garnish

The process:

  1. Scoop out about 3 cups of watermelon and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of watermelon purée. Reserve the remaining purée for later. 
  2. To a pot, add watermelon purée, juice of half a lemon, salt and maple syrup. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup of liquid. This takes about 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Pour watermelon reduction into a heat safe container and add basil leaves. Stir in the basil leaves. Place in the fridge to cool. After 30 minutes remove the basil leaves. Leave the reduction in the fridge until chilled. 
  4. Blend more watermelon to make 2 ½ cups of watermelon purée.  Mix together the watermelon purée, cooled reduction and the cream. Once combined, pour into the ice cream maker and follow the directions of your machine. 
  5. Garnish with a couple basil leaves and enjoy!

Let us know how you’re using maple syrup to beat the heat this year! If you decide to give this a try, don’t forget to tag @whitemeadowsfarms!

Stay cool everyone ☀️🍁