Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry season is in full swing here in Seattle, the farmer’s markets are packet with all different varieties.  We even have cherry trees in our back yard, although it is always a race to get them before the crows do.  Unfortunately they don’t mind eating them when they are not so ripe – and we are always waiting until they are perfect to pick.  Every year we lose – don’t you think that after a while we would learn?  This year I decided to support the local farmers instead.

Where do I start with cherries – there is just so much to talk about.  When I was younger, cherry was my absolutely favorite flavor for just about everything – we are talking about that fake cherry flavor.  I hated real cherries – in fact, I am not sure I even had a real cherry until I was well into my 30s.  The cherries they use in Shirley Temples do not count – and I hated those – because they were close to real cherries.  I still am not a huge real cherry fan, but love the flavor – and the color.  The other weekend I ordered a drink that came with a real cherry on the bottom – no, I didn’t order a Shirley Temple at a restaurant, as much as I love them.  This was called the Corpse Revival #2, and was actually pretty decent.  I almost ate the cherry, but them remembered that there was probably a pit – which scared me off.  My husband popped it in his mouth – and would you believe there was no pit?  I have no idea how they managed to take the pit out without any type of hole – could there be such a thing as a pitless cherry that is fresh from a tree?  Of course not.

So in walks the cherry pitter.  The invention that can really change lives.  The other week at Book Club, one of the moms brought a bowl of pitted cherries – all the other moms were in awe.  They couldn’t believe there was such thing as a cherry pitter that was so easy to use and actually worked.  One of them said it was life changing.  So – even though I would never think about eating a real cherry, do you believe that I actually got one of these as a wedding present?  Yes, it is amazing – and pits cherries in a matter of seconds without hurting your hand one bit.  My younger daughter can pop them in her mouth though as fast as I can pit them.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and with all the hot weather we are having, I knew I had to give it a try.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to use that life changing tool.  I found some beautiful cherries at the farmer’s market, and secretly pitted a bunch without my daughter seeing me.  She thanked me later – because this sorbet was the bees knees.  I am telling you – there is nothing better than a bowl of icy cold sorbet that is naturally flavored with wonderful cherries and grapefruit – and did I mention that undertone of basil?  Wow.

Cherry lover or not – do not waste your time on anything else this weekend.  Oh, and did I mention that when I looked up the recipe online it only got 1 star (exactly why I never look at ratings before I make anything) – that person is obviously on a different planet – one in which all fruit is fake.  These cherries were real and they were spectacular.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice


Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in basil; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

Place cherries in a food processor; process until smooth. Add sugar mixture, grapefruit juice, and lime juice; process until well blended. Strain cherry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Pour cherry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet 2


7 thoughts on “Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

  1. Looks so good! I have not seen cherries and grapefruit together (well, I guess sometimes restaurants will place 1/2 a cherry on half of a grapefruit but that hardly counts). Anyway, they are 2 of my favorite fruits so I must give this a try! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  2. A little sweet, sour and savory. A very fun sorbet. I do not have a cherry pitter and the other day when I made my chocolate cheesecake with drunken cherries I sure wish I had one as that part of pitting took the longest.

  3. I have 3 lonely grapefruits in the fridge. Mike bought them by mistake and none of us eat them straight. I also have a flourishing basil plant. So…I will be getting cherries at this week’s market!

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