Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Hello, everyone. It's hot. Time for ice cream!

Well, gelato, really. I'm still working on having the right ingredients at the right time for spontaneous confectionary cookery.

First up: one litre of Foxhill whole milk. I'm a sucker for glass bottles.

Pour into the pot.

Set the milk aside to warm up for a bit on low heat. Now you have to chop a bunch of stuff. Basil leaves and strawberries, to be exact. Both of which are from Longspell Point Farms

Roll up basil leaves and slice thinly. Dice strawberries. Dish these up in separate bowls. Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar to the strawberries and set them in the fridge. 

Turn off the heat under the milk, toss in the greens, cover, and let them steep for at least half an hour, or overnight. 

Off to beat some eggs.

Three eggs to a litre of milk. I was just guessing on amounts, but it worked out. 
Whisked to a pale yellow with about 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. It may have been less - I didn't want it too sweet.

Strain (warm but not boiled) basil-milk into a container, preferably one with a spout. Slowly pour warmed milk into eggs and sugar, whisking constantly.

Once about a third to a half of the milk is mixed in, pop the pot back on the burner and slowly mix the eggs-milk-sugar into the warm milk on medium low, whisking constantly. Add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and salt to your preference.

Switch to a wooden spoon when the two mixtures are incorporated. Keep stirring until the custard starts to follow the spoon in thick swirls, or when the custard thickly coats the back of the spoon.

Once the custard thickens, remove the oven from direct heat and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn't form on top. Once it's cooled, pop the pot into the freezer and stir with a flexible spatula every twenty minutes for two hours. 

I put the strawberries in here, but next time, I'll do that last. 

After the two hours, let ice cream freeze completely. I needed my oven for another recipe, so I poured the half-frozen stuff into an eight-inch glass baking dish. 

Here is where I needed some help. The ice cream was too flaky, which happens when you don't agitate the custard enough when it's freezing. I decided to use Kitchen Vignettes' method of freezing and blending, which you can read here.

Here's the chunked-up frozen cream in my ant-size food processor whose miniature engine screams like an eight-year old being chased by the Bogeyman himself. Four batches needed, in this case. 

And here's the result! It's pink, but you can still taste the basil. 

The best way to combat 35-40 degree weather. Best enjoyed immediately. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. 

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