Happily, as soon as the summer blueberry crop is ready and the markets are flooded with fresh blueberries, it’s also time to begin harvesting basil. Blueberry and Basil Ice Cream? That’s right! This recipe was the result of our in-house cooking club official Basil Challenge. Kristin brought this in, and everyone loved it.
600mL (2½ cups) fresh blueberries (frozen also works)
60mL (¼ cup) water
180mL (¾ cup) sugar
240mL (1 cup) milk
360mL (1½ cups) heavy cream
5 egg yolks
5mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
30mL (2 tbsp) fresh basil leaves, minced
Make a blueberry sauce: Place the blueberries, water, and ½ cup of sugar into a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Mash up blueberries as the liquid begins to bubble, and stir occasionally. Cook this for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Set aside and let cool completely. You may want to strain some of the blueberry skins out, but they’re also great left in.
Next make the ice cream base: In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk and heavy cream. Heat slowly until it starts to steam, and small bubbles form at the edge. Remove from heat. Whisk together the remaining sugar (60mL / ¼ cup), as well as the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
Very, very slowly, begin to add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. If the liquid is added too quickly it can curdle by cooking the eggs. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan, and heat again for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until you can run your finger through the custard on the back of a coated spoon and it stays in place. Allow the custard mixture to cool to room temperature or cooler. Mix in salt, vanilla, and the minced basil. Then stir in the blueberry sauce. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make ice cream. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm it up before serving. Garnish with a few blueberries and fresh basil leaves.