Basil comes in huge bunches at the Park Slope Food Coop (for $1.30!), and I only used a small portion for a gazpacho that I made. In true spirit of wasting less, I looked for other ways to use the basil. Pesto is an obvious choice, but what about basil ice cream? A quick Google search later, I was looking at a recipe on Epicurious.
I've been having a love affair with the Cuisinart ice cream maker that my mom gave me for my birthday. For someone who is slightly lactose intolerant, I love ice cream (and cheese). That said, I'm not trying to double my body weight through excessive ice cream consumption. So, I've modified Epicurious' recipe to be a little lighter. The end result was an icier ice cream, rather than a very rich and creamy one. I find that an icier ice cream holds up better on a hot summer day, and it's more refreshing. For a creamier ice cream, feel free to use whole milk or add back a yolk. I also don't have a blender, so I decided to double the amount of basil and strain the leaves. Try topping the ice cream with a sprinkle of Maldon salt!
If you're in the market for an ice cream maker, Apartment Therapy Unplggd has a great roundup of ones that look good.
Basil Ice Cream (Adapted from Epicurious)
Yield: 3 cups
2 cups 2% milk (or whole milk)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream
1. Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Prepare an ice bath and put in the fridge.
2. Meanwhile, beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl until thick and pale. Bring the milk mixture back up to a boil. Temper the eggs by slowly adding the milk mixture and whisking briskly.
3. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Set the bowl in an ice bath.
4. Stir in cream and place bowl in the fridge for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
5. Freeze in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.