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Lemon Basil Sherbet
Serves about 1 quart
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
8 fresh basil leaves, divided
2 cups whole milk
Juice of 3 lemons, chilled
Pinch fine sea salt
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the half-and-half, sugar, honey, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add 4 whole basil leaves. Using the back of a large spoon or ladle, bruise the basil leaves against the bottom of the pot. Cover and let steep 15 minutes.
Remove the basil leaves and discard, then whisk in the milk. Place the mixture in an ice-water bath or refrigerate until completely chilled.
Slice the remaining 4 basil leaves in very thin strips. Whisk the lemon juice into the chilled sherbet base, add the sea salt, and stir in the sliced basil. Taste for sweetness; adjust by adding an additional tablespoon or two of honey, if needed.
Freeze the sherbet mixture in an ice-cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions. For optimal flavor and texture, freeze sherbet for a couple of hours before serving.