Recipe: Basil Ice Cream

Cooking / Eating In

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Happy Tuesday, Noshers!  So you may remember a few months ago I declared this the “Summer of Ice Cream.”  You know, that my ice cream maker would be churning full force, and I’d try making a new flavor each week.  While I started strong with this recipe for roasted banana ice cream, I quickly learned that one batch makes A LOT.  You know, more than this girl should eat in a week (although I could eat that much ice cream a week. Sigh, moderation).  So it turns out that the Summer of Ice Cream turned out to be the Summer of Two Ice Creams, but hey – two ice creams are better than none, right?   My birthday present from my niece and nephew was David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, and I knew which recipe in that book I had to try next.

You may have seen this photo on my Instagram feed, where I asked for guesses on what this mint green concoction was:

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Such creative guesses (and ideas for my next ice cream foray) arose – such as mint, pear, avocado, green tea, kiwi – but one guesser got it right. BASIL ice cream!  What’s more, I was so excited to use basil harvested (I use that term liberally) from my little windowsill herb garden.  The results were delicious.  But don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself!

Basil Ice Cream
From David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop

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  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 lemon

1. Using a food processor, grind the basil leaves with the sugar and one cup of the heavy cream, until the leaves are ground as fine as possible.

2. Pour half of the mixture through a strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream to the bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the other half of the basil mixture in a saucepan along with the whole milk and salt over medium heat.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the basil mixture is steaming, temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring a bit of it into the eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually add in enough so that the eggs and the mixture are the same temperature. Return the mixture back into the saucepan.

5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about five minutes, or until it reaches 170 F.

6. Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the cream mixture.

7. Zest the lemon directly into the custard, then cool over an ice bath while stirring.

8. Chill thoroughly- at least eight hours, but preferably overnight, in a sealed container.

9. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

The end result was delicious!  The basil was definitely present but subtle, and not overpowering at all.  The predominant characteristic of this ice cream was creaminess.  A perfect summer concoction, or an even better “reminiscent of summer” concoction.   Of course, I wasn’t going to stop just there – so I whipped up some meringue nests with the leftover egg whites, along with strawberries in lemon syrup (again, using recipes from David Lebovitz’s book).  The combination of the three really took this dish to a whole ‘nother level.  It was AMAZING.

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I highly recommend you try this recipe in your ice cream maker, as well as the meringues and strawberry syrup (if you do decide to try it out, let me know and i can post the recipes for both!).  You will absolutely not regret it. 🙂

Have you had basil ice cream before?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    butter
    September 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I have not had basil icecream before, but I love basil & I love icecream, so I’m gonna have to remedy this situation fast. It looks so pretty – I’m thinking you should make some tomato sorbetto & have a Caprese sundae. 😉

  • Reply
    Food Blog: Big Apple Nosh | Kansas City | New York | Restaurants | Recipes | Reviews | Ice Cream: Vanilla Bean
    April 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    […] previous ice cream experiments with David Lebovitz’s recipes for roasted banana ice cream and basil ice cream – delish! While I absolutely loved these two flavors (especially the basil, YUM), vanilla […]

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