Lemon basil ice cream

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Over the Labor Day weekend several eons ago, I attempted to make ice cream for the first time. In going with the strawberry lemon basil sorbet theme, I decided to be extra adventurous and make basil ice cream.

I really had no idea how to make ice cream, so I winged it after glancing over a couple recipes online and in the Hamilton Beach ice cream maker manual.

Lemon Basil Ice Cream Recipe

2 cups whipping or heavy cream
1 cup of milk
4 egg yolks
Several bunches of basil (depending on your taste ... I used about one cup)
Lemon zest (again, depending on your taste ... I would say the more the better)
3/4 cup of white sugar
A pinch of salt

Combine cream, milk, basil, and lemon zest in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is only warm. I removed the old basil leaves and replaced them with fresh ones after the 30 minutes, but I think normally you use the cooked basil leaves. Pour into a blender and blend until the basil is finely ground.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until they are a light yellow. While stirring, slowly pour the basil cream mixture into the egg mixture to avoid scrambling the egg. Return mixture to the pot and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a coat on the back of the spoon (do not boil).

Let the mixture cool, then, if you have a Hamilton Beach ice cream maker, I'd recommend sticking it refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, up to 24 hours. Run through the ice cream machine and then stick it in the freezer to solidify to ice cream texture before serving.

If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably strain the basil bits out of the mixture after blending ... having the bits in reminded me a bit of cream of broccoli soup! Also, I would've added more lemon zest, as I barely tasted any hint of lemon. Otherwise, it was tasty and it felt healthier than "normal" ice cream.

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