Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Basil Ice Cream - #HotSummerEats

I received complimentary products from Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices to help me create my recipe for #HotSummerEats. All experiences and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the products I received.

Summer! One of my favorite things to enjoy during the warmer months is a bowl of homemade ice cream. I must admit that my tastes have changed as I have gotten older.

I no longer get excited to see how many pieces of bubble gum I and find in a bowl of bright pink bubblegum ice cream. In fact, I really enjoy a custard style vanilla with simple additions like seasonal fruit.

But the fabulous bag of Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices I was sent to use for my #HotSummerEats recipe left me wondering... what about some of the more savory flavors I enjoy?

Yes, this fabulous soft cooler arrived on my doorstep just packed with stir in pastes and lightly dried herbs. All great flavors perfect for my kitchen. They are definitely an answer to my problem of wilted herbs and unused leftovers.

As for my ice cream creation?

Well, with strawberries currently ripe and fresh in our fields I decided to pair them with the lightly dried basil for a more savory, yet still sweet treat.

So what does it mean by lightly dried? Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried are simply fresh herbs which have been lightly dried (just enough) to stay fresh for 4 weeks once opened and refresh in cooking.

Besides using the ripest berries, I grabbed fresh eggs (just the yolks for this recipe) from the hen house. My free-range birds produce the deepest golden egg yolks.

Then after bringing the cream and sugar up to a light simmer, I removed the mixture from the heat and added in the lightly dried basil. It was left for an hour to be infused with the basil flavor.

And it smelled amazing as it was steeping.

The result was a creamy and rich custard style ice cream with bits of fresh strawberry, and a lovely hint of basil.

Overall an amazing flavor combination.

You can follow all the Gourmet Garden fun on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, too!

Fresh Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

You Will Need:

  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar + 2 Tbsp.
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. Gourmet Gardens lightly dried basil
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh, sliced strawberries

The night before, sliced a cup and a half of fresh strawberries. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. sugar and refrigerate.

The next day, start by making the custard. In a heavy bottom saucepan, Combine the cream, milk,1/2 c. sugar and salt. Over medium high heat, bring it up to the start of a simmer. Then remove from the heat and add the lightly dried basil. Let this sit, covered, for about an hour.

Bring the milk mixture back up to a simmer then temper the beaten egg yolks very slowly with half the cream mixture, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling. Pour the warmed eggs into the saucepan over medium heat until the custard begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Pass the mixture through a fine mess strainer to remove any bits of basil. Add the pan to an ice bath to start it cooling. Once cooled, place this in the fridge for at least an hour to chill through.

Add the custard mixture to your ice cream maker and let it run until it starts to solidify. Then gently spoon in half the strawberry mixture into the chilled bowl and let it run a little longer. Transfer it to an airtight container and gently fold in the remaining strawberries.

Freeze until your ice cream has set up completely. Serve and enjoy this refreshing treat!

Be sure to check out all the amazing sponsors, and learn more about the giveaway prizes in my #HotSummerEats Sponsors and Prizes Post.

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