I planted Grandma P.’s herb garden and got to thinking about basil. A few years ago, when I was feeling especially experimental with food, I made lemon basil ice cream and everyone who set their lips to it said it was the best ice cream they’d ever tasted.

There’s something so intoxicating about basil. And while the latest trend to put strange flavors into dessert form has probably gone beyond the outer limits of what I think is delicious, in this case it makes complete and utter sense.

One of the things I like about making my own ice cream is knowing how simple the ingredient profile truly is. Although have you noticed now there is a certain brand of Hagen Daaz promoting just “4 simple ingredients?” Or something to that effect.

I went out to the chicken coop and grabbed a few eggs, zested a lemon, sugar, cream, milk and basil. And a pinch of salt.

Heat the milk and cream with the zest and basil along with a pinch of salt. Bring it up to a boil, then shut of the heat and let it infuse. Make sure to stir so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Let it sit and infuse until it’s no longer hot, but still warm.

Separately, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until…

…they are light in color from the air that you’ve incorporated.

Then you mix the basil milk in a blender until uniform.

Then you “temper” the yolk. That simply means you add a bit of the warm liquid to it rather than all at once. If you added all at once, you would likely cook the eggs. You mix the eggs with a bit of the warm liquid, and then add a little bit more. Keep stirring constantly, scraping down the sides to avoid scrambled eggs.

Then return it all to the sauce pan and stir it constantly over low heat until it thickens to the point where you can leave a track with your finger on  the spatula.

Like this.

Then, you run it through the ice cream maker and in about an hour, you have…

This! It was about 100 degrees outside with lots of humidity, so yours may not melt faster than you can snap a photo. But either way it’s spectacular.

I think it truly is my favorite. What’s your favorite ice cream?

“Lemon Basil Ice Cream”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

“Lemon Basil Ice Cream”

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Put the ice cream container from your ice cream maker in the freezer.
  2. Heat the milk and cream with the zest and basil along with a pinch of salt. Bring it up to a gentle boil, then shut of the heat and let it infuse. Make sure to stir so the bottom doesn't scorch. Let sit and infuse until no longer hot, but still warm.
  3. Separately, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until they are light in color from the air that you've incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Mix the basil milk in a blender until uniform.
  5. Temper the yolks by adding a bit of the warm liquid to them gradually. Keep stirring constantly, scraping down the sides to avoid scrambled eggs.
  6. Return it all to the sauce pan and stir it constantly over low heat until it thickens to the point where you can leave a track with your finger on the spatula.
  7. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then pour the liquid into the frozen ice cream container and run it through the ice cream maker for 50-60 minutes.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2010/07/01/recipes/lemon-basil-ice-cream/