Sunday, August 22, 2010

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Have I ever told you how awesome my sister is? It's the little things, really. I'll come back to that in a sec.

First, here's another instance where a little something made a huge difference:

See, I've never been a fan of strawberry ice cream. I am always just a little bit bored with it. That said, I like the idea of strawberry ice cream. I want to like strawberry ice cream.

So when I tasted and loved strawberry basil soda at Rouge Tomate during Restaurant Week, I thought basil might be just the thing my palate needed to get on board with strawberry ice cream.

I was right. My palate = totally on board with strawberry basil ice cream.

And now back to why my sister is awesome. Here's a recent chat exchange between us:

12:01 PM Beck: maybe i will make custard for ice cream tonight
  what kind?...a bunch of random chatting about stuff like what we ate for breakfast, (because telling each other what we ate for breakfast is a Very Important Part of being sisters)...
12:10 PM me: i want to try basil ice cream
 Beck: yeah
  should i get basil and do that?
12:11 PM me: sure
  i kinda wanna make strawberry basil ice cream
 Beck: how do you add the strawberries?
 me: not sure
12:12 PM maybe that recipe thing could do it
12:13 PM yeah it does it
12:14 PM Beck: so, what do i need to buy?
 me: i sent it to you
 Beck: ok

And that was the end of the ice cream conversation. We went on to chat about a ton of other random stuff that day, including me telling her I had lost my beloved aluminum water bottle, which was followed by this exchange:
 1:45 PM
  Beck: what color water bottle you want?
 me: hmmm
  just something not ugly
  and not red
  i don't like red water bottles, for some reason
  blue or silver would be fine
  or green
 Beck: ok

And then we both went about our days.

I got home late that night and was greeted by 1) the overwhelming aroma of strawberries and basil and 2) a green water bottle.

To recap:
My sister wanted to make ice cream.
I suggested a flavor.
She made it.
And she bought me a not-ugly water bottle too.

Like I said, it's the little things.

Thank for being a great sister, Beck.  Because of you, not only do I now like strawberry (basil) ice cream, I'm also well hydrated.  I don't know what I'd do without you!


Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
Yields about 1 quart
Recipe created using: Homemade Ice Cream Recipe Maker from

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
table salt
1 cup tightly packed, coarsely torn basil leaves
5 large egg yolks
1 lb. fresh or frozen strawberries, pureed, strained, and mixed with 1/2 cup sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Stir in the basil. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour. Taste and let sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.

3. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

4. Rewarm the cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.

5. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175 degrees to 180 degrees F at this point. Don't let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Press firmly on the basil in the strainer with the spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.

6. Cool the custard to below 70 degrees F by stirring it over the ice bath. Stir the strawberry puree into the cooled custard.

7. Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

8. Transfer the just-churned ice cream to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.


  1. Hey sis - you forgot to say that I also took all the photos for this recipe. I AM the nicest sister ever! Just kidding - love ya!

  2. Have I ever told you how awesome my daughters are?