ice cream!

a small scoop of strawberry-basil ice cream

Is it ice cream season for you? Is there one?

We definitely eat ice cream year round at my house, but there’s always a spike in the summer months. I don’t make a lot of ice cream in the winter, aside from this eggnog and spice ice cream, and I do like an apple crumble milkshake in the fall, but who wouldn’t?!

Though I was itching to do it this year, and I honestly don’t remember if it was officially spring when I started.

First out was chocolate. Creamy, dark chocolate with pieces of salted pretzel throughout. Then I was thinking of strawberry, even though, again, it was early for local strawberries.

chocolate ice creamBut I couldn’t wait. So I made fresh strawberry ice cream with basil.

And it was delicious.

Not perfect, but still delicious.

I tend to go heavier on milk than cream in my mix because I find the ratio of more cream to be, well, too creamy. But my first version was not quite creamy enough, so I tried a few more times until I got it to the creamy smoothness I wanted.

Also, I couldn’t really taste the basil. I had used a light hand with the herb so it wouldn’t be too prominent in what should be strawberry ice cream, but I ended up with too little. Again, I had to play around a bit toget it right.

In the end, the creaminess of your ice cream and the amount of basil you add – or chocolate chips or graham cookie pieces; a coffee base, or vanilla through and through – is really preference.

I’m in favour of trying a few batches, adjusting here and there, until you get it right. Start with small batches, too, so if your creation isn’t just right you won’t have 2L of it staring back at you everytime you open the freezer.

Here’s a simple strawberry (no basil) ice cream to start you off.

Simple Strawberry Ice Cream INGREDIENTS

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of milk + whipping (35%) cream, mixed (play with the ratio, starting with 1/2-1/2)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries, lightly sprinkled with sugar (1/4 tsp should be good)

Simple Strawberry Ice Cream METHOD

  • Warm the milk/cream mix on the stove over low heat until it’s hot, but not boiling. You will see bubbles forming at the edge of the pot. Stir it often so it doesn’t cook onto the bottom of the pot.
  • Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and sugar in bowl.
  • Once the milk is hot, add it to the thick egg/sugar mix and stir well to combine. (I like a sturdy whisk here.)
  • Return the whole mixture to the stove, cooking over low heat and continuing to stir constantly until thick; it’s ready when the mix can coat the back of a spoon and not fill in the space your finger leaves when you draw a line through the liquid.
  • Refrigerate until cool.
  • Puree the strawberries and stir into the now-cool base and pour the mix into your ice cream machine. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for churning and chilling from this point.

Makes about 2 cups. strawberry-basil ice cream

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