Monday, March 19, 2012

rich basil ice cream

This ice cream is amazing. I love the earthy and sweet herbaceous-ness of basil and the richness of the thick custard base. The mellow pale green color and flecks of basil really make this ice cream beautiful.

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

Using a small food processor or blender, grind the basil leaves with the sugar and one cup of the cream until the leaves are ground as fine as possible. Pour about half of the basil mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining one cup cream. Set a mesh strainer on top.

Warm the other half of the basil mixture in a medium saucepan along with the milk and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. (You can check the doneness with an instant-read thermometer; it should read between 170 degrees F and 175 degrees. Egg safety experts recommend cooking eggs to a minimum temp of 160 degrees, however don't let them get above 185 degrees, or you'll get scrambled eggs!) Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Zest the lemon directly into the custard. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge. It's best to refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Adapted from "The Perfect Scoop"

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