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!
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
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
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.
Contest InformationGo 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 Entries So FarHere'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