Monday, July 25, 2011

basil sugar

basil sugar recipe from
Good morning world! It's Monday in Washington, DC, humid to the point that my house windows are fogged, and just hot enough to make the morning commute deplorable.

I'm trying to cling to the few moments and memories of a weekend that was beyond glorious. I went blackberry and blueberry picking in Maryland on Saturday, and despite heat and humidity it simply was one of the best things I've done in a good long while. Few things in life compare to the taste of a fresh warm blackberry, so juicy and ripe it practically falls off the vine and into your hand.

For years I've heard people extol blueberry picking, but after this weekend I think they're silly. Picking a blueberry was nice, fun, and occasionally rewarding, but the blackberries were bliss. A treasure hunt to find the very best, and a heart wrenching debate between putting the berries in the bucket or just eating them right there.

We spent our afternoon lounging in the warm shade pond-side, eating berries, ice cream, peach licorice whips, drinking root beer and trying to create a life plan that let us live in both the country and the city, to somehow get to pick sun-ripened blackberries before going to a museum gala. If only the end of the red line metro was a berry picking farm...and I owned it.

Coming back from berry picking, I wasn't ready to give up on the country life just yet. I went into the yard and perused my garden, finding a baby pumpkin, harvesting handfuls of thyme and rosemary for freezing, picking a zucchini and only just then I realized that my basil forest was out of control. To some degree I have the farm life in DC. I have an amazing and lovely garden that I'm very pleased just doesn't have blackberries. Somewhere out there, one (or one thousand) of you are calling me a brat, and completely jealous (cough: Natalie)   and........yeah, you're right. I am a lucky person...I'll stop now before the threatening emails begin.

So with my basil bounty I had to do something. I already have a year supply of basil pesto ice cubes, so, I'm getting creative! Not sure just how to use the basil sugar yet, but oh I will and it will be lovely!

Basil Sugar

1 tablespoon basil pulp*
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 200.

In a stand mixer, on a medium speed combine sugar and basil pulp. From here you can get creative. Using molds, ice cube trays or forming sugar cubes. You can also simply spread the sugar over the baking sheet to create regular granular sugar. Bake for at least 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.**

*to make basil pulp either use a food processor or mortar and pestle to grind handfuls of basil until the one tablespoon is reached. If there is excess juice, include the juice in the sugar mixture along with the pulp. 

**I store my basil sugar in the freezer, just in case. 


  1. Oh, what a lovely and different idea! Basil sugar! I'll figure out ways to use it, too :-) What's the beef with blueberry picking? I've not heard of this negative view...

  2. mmm i have to try this... and then think about where to use it! it sounds amazing!

  3. This sounds like something I could sprinkle on top of margaritas.

  4. I love this! I bet this would make an amazing component in lemon cookies.

  5. What a great way to use up left over basil! I have some in the fridge now too. Sooo going to make this. =)

  6. Just discovered my love for blackberries. Until a few days ago, I didn't think I liked them - boy was I wrong! Would love to go pick them!

  7. Beautiful! I'm glad you had fun blackberry picking. I would enjoy them both.... Your picture is so beautiful! Stay cool and hydrated!

  8. This is awesome! Can't wait to hear what you do with them.

  9. This is interesting! I can even smell it!

  10. Sprinkle on top of some homemade ice cream. Strawberry or any berry flavor comes to mind. Or, try sprinkling on a fruit salad to give it an extra punch. Or, add to a simple sugar cookie recipe. Clever idea.

  11. I want a basil bounty, I can never keep the plant alive.

  12. What a neat idea.... maybe basil lemonade? I also imagine it pairing well with lemony desserts. I love it!!!

  13. Brilliant and creative...I am thinking cocktail!


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