This creamy Basil Ice Cream takes me straight back to Italy! There’s something magical about the combination of cream, basil and this hint of lemon that will make you fall in love with this unusual ice cream flavor!
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I’m back from Italy – with a super special gelato recipe!
Hey, guys! So it’s been a bit quiet on the blog, which has a lot to do with us just having returned from an epic 2-month Europe trip! As you can imagine, there were quite a lot of bills to pay, doctor’s appointments to finally make, loose ends to tie up….We pretty much spent 2 weeks just puttering around.
With reality hitting that hard, we like to once in a while just take a minute and think back to the wonderful things we’ve seen …and most of all, the stuff we have eaten.
The one dish that I fell for the hardest, was actually a gelato flavor, that I have never had before. We spent about a week in the beautiful coastal villages of Cinque Terre, in Liguria and it was in the little magical village of Corniglia, where we discovered the delicacy that is Basil Ice Cream!
Basil and lemon – the winning flavor combination for the most refreshing ice cream ever!
Basil is kind of a big thing in Liguria, where it finds perfect growing conditions! Yes, you guessed it -, this is also the province where the famous Pesto Genovese comes from! Another thing you’ll see a lot of are lemon trees! At a little gelato stand, we fell in love with the specialità della casa, the Basil Ice Cream with Lemon! I made a mental note to try and reproduce this delightfully unusual ice cream as soon as we get home.
Rub the grated lemon zest into the sugar for extra lemon aroma!
I found a really great looking recipe for basil ice cream in one of my go-to book when it comes to ice cream: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebowitz! I cannot recommend this book enough! I did make some changes to the recipe though, like rubbing the lemon zest right into the sugar instead of just adding the zest to the ice cream base. I find the lemon flavor spreads more evenly that way.
Easy to make and soooo delicious! Try my Creamy Basil Gelato this summer!
Cream, Basil, Lemon…I tell you, this Basil Ice Cream is a MUST TRY! The slight hint of lemon you get right in the end is just perfect. It somehow brightens the basil ice cream without dominating the flavor profile.
The recipe for this creamy Basil Ice Cream is quite easy and you only need about a handful of ingredients! Note that this ice cream recipe uses egg yolks to get the perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture.
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A note about affiliate links in this post: some of these links will take you to Amazon where I may receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you.
Creamy Basil Ice Cream | Italian Gelato Recipe
This creamy Basil Ice Cream takes me straight back to Italy! There's something magical about the combination of cream, basil and this hint of lemon! You will love this unusual ice cream flavor!
- 150 g sugar
- 1 lemon
- 25 to 30 g basil leaves
- 500 ml cream
- 250 ml full fat milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 large egg yolks
Measure out the sugar. Zest lemon directly into the sugar and rub everything together for about a minute or so, until the sugar gets fragrant.
Use a food processor to grind the basil leaves with the lemon sugar and one cup of the heavy cream, until the leaves are ground as fine as possible. Be careful not to whip the cream already. Feel free to pre-grind the basil with a bit of the milk from the recipe before adding the cream. Pour half of the mixture through a strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream.
Heat the other half of the basil lemon puree in a saucepan along with the whole milk and salt over medium heat. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the basil mixture is steaming, slowly pour into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Return the mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about five minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the cream mixture. Zest the lemon directly into the custard, then cool over an ice bath while stirring.
Chill completely, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Let harden in the freezer for a few hours before serving.
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