Week 10 Finalists- Best Frozen Dessert

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Quick Strawberry Sherbet by ChefJune

All we can say is: thank goodness ChefJune was given an assignment to teach people about the wonders of their Cuisinarts. Not only is this simple dessert packed with intense strawberry flavor, but it takes all of five minutes to make. We'll admit we were a bit skeptical about the technique, but it works perfectly: you purée frozen berries in the food processor with sugar and lemon, leave the motor running while you pour in a little cold milk, and voila -- you have a lovely, loose sherbetSince strawberry season is over, we used store-bought frozen berries. You can make this sherbet with pretty much any type of frozen fruit, but if you buy it ready-frozen, we recommend that you be judicious with the sugar.


This recipe is dead simple, and the ingredients reflect it.


Chef June recommends freezing both the bowl and the blade of the food processor. As this recipe goes very quickly (under 5 minutes. Really.) keeping everything as cold as possible is important.

The recipe uses caster sugar, also known as superfine, as it blends into the sherbet more easily than regular sugar.

As soon as the strawberries are just blended, it's time to add the milk.

The mixture goes from chunky to smooth very quickly (seeing a theme here?) so watch it carefully, you want to blend until only just combined.

Finished -- Really!

Lemon Basil Sherbet by Sandy Smith

This sherbet is everything we want in a refreshing frozen treat. It's light and airy yet indulgent, with just the right balance of tart and sweet, and a hint of cream to round out the flavors. As if this weren't enough, Sandy Smith includes an inspired detail: she infuses the sherbet base with fresh basil leaves and then adds chopped basil before freezing the mixture. The results are subtle and bewitching. As Sandy notes in her recipe, the sherbet is best after a couple of hours in the freezer, as it emerges from the ice cream maker a bit soft.

Again, very simple ingredients.

Sandy Smith calls for the juice of 3 lemons. We found that it measured between 1/2 and 2/3 of a cup of juice.

Merrill was using Amanda's technique of rubbing the lemon against the microplane. Equally effective, she had to admit.

After we brought this mixture to a simmer, and the sugar dissolved, we added 4 whole basil leaves, and bruised them against the bottom of the pan. Then we took it off the heat, and allowed it to steep for 15 minutes.

We removed the bruised basil leaves...

... and added the milk.

We chose to cool the mixture in an ice bath as we were pressed for time. Also, apparently Merrill loves ice baths...

Chiffonading basil is really simple, just roll, slice, and add to the sherbet base.

Adding the lemon juice.

Even before we froze it, the mixture was delicious.

We froze it in the machine for about 20 minutes, and then transferred it to the freezer. After an hour or so, it was solid, scoopable, and totally refreshing.