Last weekend, Ted and I went to the farmers' market and found an amazing deal for a giant bunch of basil for only $2! I knew I couldn't possibly use it all up in one week (we even hung half of it to dry!!), so I asked a friend what kind of ice cream I could make with basil now that it's summer. She suggested strawberry basil, and since it IS strawberry season, I couldn't resist!!
I came across this fantastic recipe with all sorts of great ideas for making the ice cream extra tasty! She gives some incredible information on her page, so definitely check it out!
Ingredients2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup sugar, granulated
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup basil, fresh, lightly packed
7 egg yolks (from large eggs)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (approx) strawberry syrup (from strawberry compote)
1 cup (approx) stewed strawberries, diced and frozen (from strawberry compote)
2. Stir in fresh basil and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
During this break, make the strawberry compote!
Ingredients1 lb strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup sugar, granulated
How To1. Add the strawberries to a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until soft, then stir in sugar. As the berries cook, they’ll release their juices, which makes for awesome syrupy goodness.
2. Simmer gently, stirring often, until volume is reduced by half (about 20-30 minutes). If you’re serving the compote over cake or scones, go ahead and serve it now, while it’s still warm! If you’re using these in the strawberry basil ice cream, continue on to step 3.
3. I strained these through the mesh sieve and it worked out great - the original recipe recommends through a cheesecloth to keep the fine strawberry hairs from getting into the mix, but I don't have an issue with those! This yields about 1 C syrup and 1 C stewed strawberries!
Back to the ice cream...3. Pour the remaining cup of cream into a large bowl. Place that bowl into an ice water bath and place a fine mesh strainer on top. ** To be honest, I just put the cream in the fridge at this time because we don't have an ice maker... it worked fine.*
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk egg yolk lightly. Set aside.
5. Put your saucepan of cream and basil back on the stove over med-high heat until bubbles form around the edges (do not boil).
6. Whisking constantly, drizzle half of the heated cream into the egg yolks. (To keep the egg yolks from scrambling, you want to warm them slowly and evenly.)
8. Strain the custard through the fine metal strainer and into the bowl of cream that’s been chilling in the ice water bath. Give the basil a little squeeze with your rubber spatula to get as much of the custard through as possible. Discard used basil.
9. Allow the custard to chill in the
10. Cover and refrigerate this mixture until it’s completely chilled (at least 4 hours) or overnight.
11. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer instructions.
12. Two minutes before the ice cream is done (or when it’s at the soft-serve stage), add your pre-frozen stewed strawberry bits. Watch to make sure your ice cream maker is able to distribute them evenly. (You may want to stir a few times by hand when you take the ice cream out of the machine, just to be sure you don’t end up with any clumps of strawberry bits in your final ice cream.)
13. Transfer the ice cream to an air tight container and allow it to finish hardening in your freezer overnight, or until hardened. If you’re impatient and don’t want to wait until tomorrow to eat your ice cream, try freezing some of your ice cream in single serve-portions. A smaller block of ice cream will be able to harden faster than a large tub!
14. Once it’s ready, hand out spoons and dig in!! So far, after taking it to a Fourth of July party and a family get-together, all I've heard are rave reviews!