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Lime Basil Ice Cream

Aug, 2010

The guy (that would be Chris!) who is subbing for Charmaine at the NIH today said that  you all are looking for new things to do with the lime basil.

Well, Sunday I had most of a bunch left, so I decided to make ice cream.  Years ago I found a great recipe for fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream on the internet, and I've adapted it for many purposes.  It was absolutely spectacular with the lime basil, which imparted an incredible, summery lime tang.  It may be even better than mint-- with or without chocolate chips.  And because it is made from fresh leave, it has a deep, enchanting green color without any food coloring, and tiny darker green flecks.  Very pretty.

2c. heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1 bunch lime basil, de-stemmed, washed, and dried (I use a salad spinner)

Put the milk, eggs, basil leaves, and about half the cream into a blender, and puree briefly.

Heat gently with constant stirring and scraping until you reach 170 degrees to pasteurize the eggs and extract flavor from the basil.  (If you don't have a thermometer, you can watch for a perceivable thickening that occurs in the upper 160 degree range.)

Remove from heat, and add the sugar; stir to dissolve.  Add the remaining half of the cream.

Strain through a fine strainer, pushing as much of the liquid through and out of the leaves as possible.  (If a few tiny leaf bits make it through, that just makes it prettier.  Too much is gritty, though, and can clog your ice cream maker blades.  If you're like me, you'll very much enjoy eating the strained, sweetened leaves with a fork, so it's a double bonus...)

Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, (or put it in a metal bowl and use an ice bath, with occasional stirring for 15 minutes if you're impatient.)

Follow the freezing instructions for your ice cream maker.  Serve with or without chocolate chips. 



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