Fresh Basil Ice Cream


Nothing says mid-summer to us quite like an ice cream party; the Victorian tradition of ice cream socials has become one of our favorite ways to gather friends and family in the garden when the going gets hot. Eager to offer an unexpected twist on the classic sundae, we asked Styer’s chef Keith Rudolf to share his recipe for homemade Basil Ice Cream. Refreshing and light, it's sure to have your guests scooping up second helpings. 

Basil Ice Cream

Ice cream making machine
3 cups half & half
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla pod, scraped – be sure to save the pod
8 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2 bunches fresh basil
Olive oil

In a large pot of boiling water, quickly blanch the basil. Be sure to have a bowl of ice water ready to shock the basil after blanching. 

Combine half & half, heavy cream, and vanilla bean along with the pod. Place over a medium-high burner and bring to a simmer. Be sure not to let it reach a boil! 

In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture reaches a custard-like consistency. Remove the vanilla pod from cream and discard. Then, temper the cream into the egg mixture a little at a time, whisking continuously.

Once all the cream is incorporated into the egg mixture, place the bowl over a double boiler— save on clean-up by re-using the pot you blanched the basil in. Whisk the ice cream base over the boiler for about 10 minutes. When it begins to thicken, strain the cream base through a fine chinoise; this will ensure no impurities get into the final product. Place the mixture into the refrigerator. 

Puree the basil a blender with a splash of olive oil.

Once your cream mixture has chilled, pour it with the basil puree into your ice cream machine. Follow your ice cream machine’s instructions for churning. 25 minutes is typically a sufficient amount of time.

Scoop ice cream out of the machine and place in your freezer. 

Once frozen, serve garnished with basil in your favorite set of sundae dishes—we love the way our Weck jars look paired with icy treats, playful wooden spoons, and orchard-fresh fruit.

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