Basil Ice Cream, a Recipe {Crafted by the Seasons}

Basil is a favorite herb for many of us.  Its sweet yet bold flavor and aroma can lend freshness to so many dishes.  It is in full abundance this time of year and this week we are using it to make ice cream.  Making ice cream is a fun and gratifying process that yields its own reward, that is, well, ice cream!  Chef Mike Hofmann at Hotel Washington is sharing his own recipe for a basil infused ice cream that is a full feast for the senses.  Whether making ice cream is a summer ritual for you or you are attempting it for the first time this is a recipe that is sure to delight. 

{ basil ice cream }

Total time: up to 12 hours (depending on chilling and ice cream machine)
Active time: 45 minutes
Enjoy: with a spoon and good company

1/2 quart heavy cream
1 ½  quart whole milk
1 ½ cup sugar
15 egg yolk
8 ounce whole fresh basil
1 pinch of salt
1 squosh vanilla 

{ you will also need }

medium saucepan
large stock pot (will be used to create a steam bath)
large mixing bowl
food processor
ice cream maker
measuring cups and spoons 

{ make }

Add ¾ cup of sugar and basil (leaves and stems) to food processor.  Pulse until just blended, pieces of basil will remain.  Set aside.

Separate egg white* and yolk, retain yolks in large mixing bowl.  By hand or in a stand mixer, whisk yolks until they are fully combined and begin to pale in color.

Add sugar and basil mixture and continue to whisk until fully incorporated.  Set aside.  

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk and remaining sugar; scold on high heat.  Remove from heat.

Add cream and milk mixture to egg mixture by a slow drizzle making sure to incorporate slowly so as not to cook yoke.  Stir until just combined.

In the mean time, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.  Place mixing bowl containing egg and dairy mixture onto the steaming pot to create a steam bath.  

Stir continuously with a rubber spatula until desired thickness is reached; reduce heat if granules start to appear.  Keep over heat until drips of custard create an outline when falling back into pot, approximately 15 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove basil pieces.  You may need to strain multiple times to remove all basil bits.  

Place mixture in refrigerator uncovered until fully chilled, up to overnight.

Add chilled mixture to ice cream machine, and follow directions for ice cream machine.

Custard will spin for approximately 20 to 40 minutes depending on your machine.

{ Enjoy! }

And there you have it, you made ice cream! It will keep in your freezer for up to three months. 

Cheers and gratitude,

Mike and Jo

* A note on eggs: egg whites can be retained in the refrigerator for up to three days, use them in an additional recipe.  Egg shells can be added to compost or used a variety of ways in the garden, a resource we like here.

{Crafted by the Seasons}  follow the story, here

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