Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Basil Ice Cream

Number two in an occasional series of "unique" ice cream flavors.

This is where savory meets sweet. I love the sweet, heady fragrance of fresh basil and found myself intrigued at creating a decadent, creamy treat with the leaves. The chopped basil perfumed the milk while cooking, tempting me to taste the unfinished, liquidy product.

This ice cream stays pretty soft-almost like soft serve-even after being in the freezer overnight, but I really liked the consistency. It has a vibrant, but sweet, basil flavor that made me think of spring; this was also a favorite of several of my co-workers. Definitely give this one a try!

Basil Ice Cream
Source: Gourmet Magazine

Printable Recipe


2 cups whole milk (I used low-fat)
3 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup sugar, divided
pinch salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used heavy whipping cream)

Combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, basil, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

Pour into a blender (keep the saucepan, you'll be using it again soon) and puree until basil is finely blended, about one minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until well combined. The mixture will be pale yellow and thick.

Slowly pour the basil milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring until well combined.

Pour the mixture back into the reserved saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 175 degrees. Do not let it boil. Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Set the medium bowl into a large bowl, filled with ice water, and stir until cool.

Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, or until completely chilled. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, following manufacturer's directions to freeze.

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