Strawberry & Basil Ice Cream

I was hosting an impromptu dinner party this evening and someone else had promised to bring dessert. I tend to make a lot of strawberry ice cream this time of year, but wasn’t planning on cranking today.

When the promised dessert did not materialise I somehow ended up telling my five guests about the joys of the White Mountain Freezer. They were certainly intrigued, but since I’m from Missouri, just talking is never enough. For some reason, we were also talking about the Show-Me State.

The story goes that in 1899 a Congressman named Willard Duncan Vandiver from Columbia, Missouri (my hometown) was dining at a naval banquet in Philadelphia. Someone at the banquet must have been making some grandiose claims worthy of incredulity, and Vandiver remarked, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces me nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

So in true “show-me” spirit, we quickly procured some double-cream and whipped up a unique batch of ice cream with ingredients I had on hand.

Strawberry ice cream seemed to common to impress my guests, so I reached for the pot of basil we have growing on the window-sill. The recipe is a slight modification of my popular strawberry ice cream:

  • approx. 500g of ripe Scottish strawberries
  • a small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups (roughly 473ml) of organic double cream (48% fat)
  • 1 cup (225g) sugar
  • about half a cup of milk (enough to reach capacity)

We cut the leaves off the strawberries and put them in a bowl. I tore the basil leaves into small pieces and added them to the strawberries before blending the lot into a smooth puree.

In a separate bowl I mixed the eggs, sugar and cream. Then I added the strawberry/basil puree and mixed well. I needed about a half a cup of milk to reach the desired volume for my half-gallon freezer.

We then cranked as normal, taking advantage of Scotland’s lovely summer evenings.

The texture was delightfully creamy and smooth and the basil added a nice subtle flavour that complimented the strawberries well. Judging by the enjoyment amongst my guests, I would say the experiment was a success. It was a refreshing and delicoius batch, and definitely a flavour combination worth repeating.

p.s. Apologies for the lack of photos – I’ve given up on digital photos for the time-being, so it may take some time to add pictures to this post.

Peter Gerard

Peter carried the hand-cranking ice cream tradition from his family in Missouri to Scotland and eventually to New York. He is now likely the biggest importer of White Mountain Freezers to Europe, having imported more than a dozen machines...

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2 Responses

  1. Jonny May says:

    Peter’s strawberry & basil ice cream was delicious. I was racing the following morning and recorded a new personal best for a 25 mile time trial. I may have to place an order for more strawberry & basil ice cream as it’s obviously rocket fuel in (tasty) disguise.

  2. Jen Lee says:

    Wow – this recipe sounds great. It is certainly an innovative combo I would have never thought to put together but will certainly experiment with in the future. Maybe it opens the door for other unusual fruit and herb combos…lemon and dill, pear and rosemary…

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