You guys, life has been buuusssyyyy. Between planning for my family’s upcoming cross-country move, all of the traveling we’ve done recently, work, and a growing (now VERY mobile) 10½ month old daughter, finding kitchen time has been a little bit of a challenge. So as soon as I learned that this past weekend was a free one, you better believe I made time to play in the kitchen! I don’t think I sat down once – it was perfect. And since the markets have now started to shift from winter to spring and summer produce, I took advantage of the fresh warm weather flavors I’ve been craving all winter. And what better way to welcome those warm seasonal vibes than with ice cream?
I feel like I must preface this recipe with an apology to hardcore ice cream traditionalists. This isn’t your normal vanilla, chocolate, strawberry kinda ice cream. But what can I say? I haven’t played in the kitchen in a while and my creative juices are exploding every where. But with that said, I still think I can convert (or at least tempt) those plain ice cream lovers with this little beauty. Heck, this recipe may surprise even the most experienced ice cream enthusiasts. Basil in ice cream? Trust me. Olive oil macerated raspberries? Yup, you read that correctly. A little bizarre, I know, but definitely the right blend of slightly savory, a little tart, but definitely sweet way to wake up your palate to warm weather flavors.
Yields 3 cups
Olive Oil Macerated Raspberry Sauce
Basil Ice Cream
For the macerated raspberry sauce:
Macerate is basically a fancy way of saying soften through marination. When you macerate berries, berries are tossed with a mixture of sugar, acid, and oils and left to sit so that the mixture can soften and break down the cells of the berries, extracting the juices inside and softening the skin. So even though it sounds like a fancy therefore difficult component, it’s actually quite easy. Toss all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, then let sit for 1 hour. After an hour, place all but 2 tbsp of the raspberry mixture in a small sauté pan and cook until the liquid thickens slightly (2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat, add the remaining mixture, and cool until later.
For the basil ice cream:
Bring milk, basil, ¼ cup sugar, and salt to a low boil in a heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let basil steep for 30 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blend until basil is finely ground. In a medium bowl, beat together yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add the milk mixture in a slow stream to the egg-sugar mix, whisking until combined. Pour mixture back into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats back of spoon (175°F).
Do not let boil! Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Let custard cool completely. Stir in cream and pour into ice cream maker (following the ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions). When the ice cream is set, spoon into an airtight container, alternating with raspberry sauce layers. Place ice cream in the freezer to harden (at least 2 hours). Enjoy!!