Cantaloupe Sweet Basil Sorbet with Toasted Almond Sandies

I found the most beautiful Tuscan style cantaloupes at Oliver’s market in Santa Rosa over the fourth of July weekend. They are distinctive looking with deep grooves and a more oval shape than a regular cantaloupe. They have a deep orange color, a sweet aroma and flavor. I’ve been reading all kinds of recipes for sorbets and ice creams this summer and had been wanting to use my ice cream maker to churn up a frozen treat. So with the beautiful cantaloupes and a bag of sweet basil my mother harvested from her garden for me I went to work or rather my ice cream maker went to work! I used the Italian variety of basil which we love to grow here in the summer, imagine living in a warm tropical climate where basil is an annual!

I made this sorbet to bring to a friend’s home for dinner so I also wanted to make a batch of cookies to enjoy along side, any excuse to make cookies, it really doesn’t take much to push me into a cookie making mode. My recipes were adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming. This is a beautiful cookbook written by Claudia Fleming when she was the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern and it is filled with wonderful composed dessert recipes that work! She recommends not using an overripe melon for this recipe because if the melon is at all mushy, the sorbet can take on a ‘funky flavor’ and you know we do not want that!

Ingredients and Directions for Cantaloupe Sorbet
Yields 3 & 1/4 cups

6 cups ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed, about 1 & 1/2 cantaloupes
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet basil infused simple syrup, see recipe below

In a large bowl mix together the cantaloupe and sugar, let rest for 15 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Purée the cantaloupe in a blender and transfer to a container. Stir 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water plus the simple syrup into the cantaloupe mixture and chill into very cold, at least 3-4 hours. Freeze in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions.

To Make Sweet Basil Infused Syrup
Yields 2 & 1/2 cups

2 cups sugar
1 large handful sweet basil leaves

In a small sauce pan bring 1 & 1/2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a simmer, let cook for about 1 minute until the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and add a large handful of sweet basil leaves. Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes and strain. Chill in fridge before adding to the cantaloupe mixture.

Ingredients and Directions for Toasted Almond Sandies
Yields 6 dozen cookies

1 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a food processor grind the almonds with 1/4 cup flour, set aside. In a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugar until creamy about 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well.
Sift together the remaining flour, salt and baking powder, add it to the butter mixture and mix together until just combined. Stir in the nut mixture. Form the dough into 2 logs, wrap in plastic and chill for several hours until dough is firm.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Using a sharp knife slice the cookies into coins, between 1/8-1/4¨ thick. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-9 minutes until golden brown on the bottom of cookies, the tops stay light. Cool on a rack and enjoy alone or with sorbet!

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  1. I love cantaloupe! Never had it as a frozen treat though. I'll have to try that.

  2. My mother-in-law is still a little stingy with her basil…up until the tomato preserves get done. I'll have to see what I can do to sneak some ;o)
    I do make an amazing cantaloupe frozen mousse…however…your recipe caught my attention in a big way. I can really appreciate this recipe because I honestly would not have thought to put this combo together.
    I'm definitely going to have to give this a whirl ;o)

    Have a great week and flavourful wishes,

  3. Ahhh … I am cooling down just looking at this. In fact, I could stare at this deliciousness all day …

  4. Everybody has an ice cream maker but me!? haha by looking at this refreshing fruity sorbet i feel like i need to get one! eating it with cookies is a brilliant idea Patty.

    Ps: sorry for a late comment. i was away :)

  5. Patty,
    Such a stunning group of photos. I especially enjoyed the one of the cut cantaloupe. You always inspire me, in both the culinary and photography realms

  6. Everything sounds so delicious. I need to experiment more with syrup for desserts. A beautiful idea.

  7. I don't have an ice cream maker and I should get one soon. The looks and sounds wonderful. I love the color….so refreshing! The sandies sound good too!

  8. Hmm fruits sorbet are so refreshing and the addition of basil makes it really unique…love almond cookies, perfect summer dessert1

  9. What a creative recipe. What really strikes me though is how perfect your scoops are. Seriously. How is that even possible? :)

  10. Patty,

    That is just gorgeous. The color and look of the sorbet is so very vibrant. Two thumbs way up! Great flavor combo as well.

    Thank you for the kind words about my new look on the blog. Glad to see someone liked it!


  11. I can only imagine the smell and taste of the cantaloupe sorbet. Loving the colour. The addition of the almond sandies would just round it off well.

  12. Hi Patty :) Your photos are so lovely and your recipes so mouthwatering. Now there's a flavor of sorbet I have yet to try , and would love to try it very soon. I love the pairing with the almond sandies. My Mom would love those too :) Thanks for sharing

  13. This sounds so refreshing and something that would be so easy to eat and eat…and eat! I adore basil with fruit. It seems to be the perfect complement to all summery produce.

  14. We do not as yet have prime melons in our markets, but when they arrive I'm going to give this a try. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. I love cantaloupe, but never know what to do with it other than just eat it plain. This is a great recipe!

  16. oh Patty
    that sorbet looks so good, and cantelope is such a great flavor….that syrup sounds heavenly, and I bet I could eat a whole plate of those cookies!!
    thanks so much for sharing, and your images are beautiful!

  17. Oh Patty, this sounds so wonderful right now, but being in Florida can make one want things like sorbet. I love the idea of the mint character of the basil being in there. One of the best ice cream flavors I ever tasted was an organic, home made vanilla basil-unbelievable!
    Your photos are so pretty lately by the way, Patty! Really nice…
    p.s. over ripe melon can be funky (smile)!

  18. I am in love with your pictures! They are gorgeous. The color of the sorbet is amazing.

  19. Thanks everybody, I also saw these cantaloupes at Trader Joes this morning. Thanks again for all the wonderful comments, Patty

  20. Beautiful recipe and good clicks. Like the color of cantaloupes. Nice to be here. best wishes.

  21. I have never made any sorbet nor ice cream at home…the same regards baking breads…at least, when I read the blog like yours, I start to imagine that preparation of home made ice cream or sorbets it is not so complicated ( I do not know why, but I always thought that it was very hard work). Have a nice evening…

  22. Patty, I thought I already posted a comment here. I remembered seeing this post and must have been inspired by it. :-) Anyway, I've had a couple of cantaloupes waiting to be used for a few days so the sorbet was a natural choice for me, too. Yours is definitely a more sophisticated take with the basil-infused syrup. I really like it.

  23. What a lovely combination, I love cantaloupes smell and combined with basil. Wow..

  24. Hi Patty
    When you have time please stop by my blog, I have some awards for you if you would like them!

  25. I love sorbet but have never tried one with cantaloupe. This is going to be high on my list when I get back home (I'm out on a roadtrip with my daughter right now). This looks delicious!

  26. This Cantaloupe Sorbet looks absolutely amazing. Beautiful pictures.

  27. Wow this looks so refreshing! And I love that you paired your sorbet with almond sandies. Nice contrast!

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