If you like ice cream, and like to make your own ice cream, then you HAVE to make this Basil Vanilla Ice Cream! Try it anyway, even if you don’t like to make your own! 🙂 It’s easy, and you’ll be amazed by how well this simple flavour combination works.
A creamy vanilla ice cream with a fresh, earthy basil flavour, that’s not overpowering. And then top it with an easy chocolate magic shell sauce, and you’ve got a habit-forming ice cream!
Updated: July 2016
Basil is one of my favourite herbs, and as far as flavour combos go, Basil Vanilla Ice Cream might sound a little unusual at first, but once you try it, you’re never going back. You’re going to love it!
Basil is a pretty versatile herb and it goes really well with vanilla. I first made this back in 2014, soon after I started this blog, and soon after making this vanilla basil cake (which I turned into “fish fingers” à la Doctor Who!), and I loved the flavours so much that I made a second batch of this basil infused ice cream immediately. And quite a few batches since then. It’s been a really hot and muggy summer, with no respite in sight, and frozen desserts like this basil vanilla ice cream have been my survival strategy. 🙂
This basil vanilla ice cream is also one of the first ice creams that I made in my new ice cream machine, so I’ve got a soft spot for it because of that too. 🙂 Here I use a deeply basil infused milk to make the custard base. I use the leaves and stalks of the basil with about one and a half cups of milk and after heating it I leave it aside, covered, for at least half an hour to make sure that the milk has a strong, intriguing basil flavour, while still not being overpowering (that’s important!).
There’s no mistaking the flavour in this basil infused ice cream, and the infused milk may even show a slight green hue with the addition of basil.
This does disappear with the addition of cream and eggs, BUT I add an extra dose of fresh basil to the final custard which brings that slight green tinge back. This is an optional step, but one that makes the basil infusion more prominent and delicious.
When the custard is done, let it chill in the fridge for a few hours, if you’re churning it in your ice cream machine.
HOWEVER, if you don’t own an ice cream machine, you can pour the custard into a large flat dish (with a large surface area) and keep it in the freezer. Then just check on it every hour to whip the custard (and break down the hard bits) with a hand-held beater. This method works well, but obviously involves a bit more work.
But at the end of it, you’re going to be treated to an amazingly creamy, cooling basil vanilla ice cream with that incredibly refreshing basil flavour. The basil adds an earthy freshness to the sweet and creamy vanilla base. Pair it with a satisfying savoury meal, and you’ll be in lurrrve!
Basil Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
- 3 cups Whipping cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 25 g basil a combination of leaves and stalks is fine
- 10 g basil leaves about 10 large leaves
- 150 g sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- Combine the sugar, milk and basil in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer.
- Then remove it from the heat, cover, and set it aside for 30 minutes or up to one hour (to let the milk be infused with the basil flavour).
- Drain the milk from the basil (and squeeze any milk out of the basil leaves and stalks too) and leave it aside. Discard the basil.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and add the basil infused milk, along with the vanilla. Return the milk to a saucepan and heat it gently while stirring, until the custard thickens. If the custard is able to coat the back of a spoon and you can trace a clean path on it with your finger, then the custard is done.
- Stir in the whipping cream with the custard. Place half of this mixture in a blender, and add the 10g of Basil leaves and pulse until the basil leaves are blended with the mix.
- Return the basil mix back with the rest of the ice cream, and let this mix sit in the fridge to chill for at least a few hours or overnight (preferred)
- Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
No Ice-Cream machine? No problem!
- Transfer the custard into a flat bottomed, large dish with a lid and keep it in the freezer.
- Every hour, check on the custard and break the hardened sides with a fork at first, and with a hand held beater later, until the ice cream sets completely.
If you’re feeling that extra bit fancy, go ahead and make an easy peasy chocolate magic shell sauce and drizzle it on top for a decadent, Stracciatella-like ice cream. Goes well with a creamy, herby ice cream. Honestly, anything will go well with this creamy, basil infused ice cream!
So what would you pair this basil vanilla ice cream with? And what’s your favourite ice cream flavour? 🙂
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