Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thai Basil Ice Cream

Now that summer is drawing to a close, it's time to give an update on ice cream. I didn't get to as many experimental flavors as I had hoped (it takes a while to devour each batch) but there was much good, cold fun nonetheless.

First up was peach ice cream made with fresh peaches from neighbors Brian and Gina's tree. There was a week where I was purely peachy--pork chops with peaches, peach and brie baguette sandwiches, peach ice cream, and loads of fresh peaches eaten over the sink with juice dribbling down my chin. The peach ice cream was good despite being a bit more crystallized than the other ice creams. I suspect the lack of any alcohol in it was to blame. Next time I'll add a few teaspoons of some liqueur to correct the problem, but the taste of the fresh peaches more than made up for the texture issue.

The best ice cream, however, was the one that I dreamed up after reading a blog post on The Unfussy Epicure. Her recipe for Basil ice cream with tomato jam gave me the idea for using the thai basil that smelled so wonderful in the garden but rarely got incorporated into my meals this summer. Thai basil ice cream was a huge success! In fairness, it is partly because the recipe includes eggs, making it more of a custard than a traditional ice cream. Still, the flavor was all thai basil. And the lovely green color came naturally.

The only variations from Kristin's recipe were a doubling of the amount of leaves (just 'cause I had so many) and the addition of a couple of teaspoons of Canton ginger liqueur in the last five minutes of processing to prevent ice crystals. I still can't believe how well this turned out. It is so rich, it seems hardly possible that it's homemade. I'm glad the recipe didn't make very much because I could eat way too much of this herby wonder.

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