Basil Infused Ginger and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Best Lick! 2008 Ice Cream Contest Entry #7

Original Ice Cream Flavor: Basil Infused Ginger and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ice Cream Chef:Christine

What inspired this recipe? When my husband and I were in Portland recently, he ordered a basil-infused martini which he really liked. It got me started musing about other things to infuse with basil and since I've been on an ice cream making kick lately, that's the first thing I made when we returned home. The cinnamon and crystallized ginger just seemed right for the part.

Tastetester comments and full recipe after the jump. Take a look, then vote here!


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Tastetester Comments: My biggest fan, my admittedly not un-biased husband, couldn't swallow his first bite fast enough as he exclaimed, "Oh, wow! This is so delicious!"

Basil Infused Ginger and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ingredients:
1/4 cup fresh green basil leaves, packed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, divided
2 (2-inch) pieces cinnamon stick, broken
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup half & half
2 whole large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:
Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the crystallized ginger and reserve. Finely chop the remaining 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger and set aside to use in the freezing process.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, half & half, basil, 1/4 cup chopped ginger, and cinnamon and allow to steep for 5 minutes.

Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place the lightly beaten eggs and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the eggs are thickened and pale yellow. Whisk in the salt.

While whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the eggs until combined, then pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk in the saucepan, whisking well to combine. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and let the ice cream base cool for about 10 minutes.

Strain the base into a glass container (a 4-cup measure works well) through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract all the liquid and flavors. Chill until very cold - overnight is best.
Just before freezing, whisk the ground cinnamon into the ice cream base until fully incorporated, then freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream begins to hold its shape, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of finely-chopped crystallized ginger and continue to process until the ice cream is finished.

To enjoy the subtle flavor and perfume of the basil infusion, serve this ice cream right after it has been processed, in its soft-serve state.

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Contest Information

Go here for the full scoop on the Best Lick! 2008 contest, including prizes, rules, and entry form. Submission closes the evening of August 18th. Get your ice cream maker going!

The Best Lick! Ice Cream Contest: 2008 Edition

The Entries So Far

Here's a list of all the entries so far. Click the thumbnail to go to the entry.

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream with Almond Praline Ripple
Chocolate Gelato with Salted Caramel Pecans
Coconut Peach Ice Cream with Toasted Almonds
Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Ice Cream
Blueberry Brie Tart Ice Cream
Grape Ice Cream
Basil Infused Ginger and Cinnamon Ice Cream

(Images: Christine)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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