Saturday, August 4, 2007

The beginnings of Cherry Basil Ice Cream

We got an ice cream maker once upon a time as a wedding present from my brother Rob and we've never really used it much. Until this summer. Suddenly I have this overwhelming urge to make ice cream all the time. Within the past two weeks, I've made blackberry ice cream, mint chocolate chip ice cream, pomegranate sorbet, and now cherry basil ice cream:

I'm excited.

I got two pounds of cherries at Costco yesterday and used about half. I pitted them with the cherry pitter (best little uni-tasker ever!) and pulsed them in the food processor about 6 times. I added the cherries to a pot with about 8 basil leaves from our plant out back, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons Absolut Kurant. I heated it through while I was working on the ice cream base. (I've been following the recipe for vanilla ice cream from The Best Recipe cookbook, minus the vanilla, and it's served me quite well so far.) After the cherries were heated through, I removed the basil leaves.

Once I heated the milk and cream and tempered and cooked the eggs, I put the cream mixture in an ice bath, then did the same with the cherries. Once both the cherries and the cream were cool, I added them together and now they're all mellowing out and chilling together in the fridge. The mixture will hang out for about 3 hours or so and then I'll put it in the ice cream maker. I'm excited.

From what I can tell so far, the cherry and basil flavors are both coming through really well. The addition of the basil adds an element of intrigue, but it complements the cherries well. We'll probably have some later tonight and I'll garnish it with some fresh basil leaves and a few whole cherries. I'll try to remember to post pictures.

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