When I first bought my ice cream machine, in 2008, things got a little bit crazy. It was just so easy to convince myself that I was making something healthy. It’s only milk and eggs! I thought. All natural! Before I knew it, Alex and I had devoured quarts of bourbon vanilla, maple walnut, and stracciatella within a week, and the bathroom scale was there to prove it.
Because, as we all know, it’s not just milk and eggs. It’s heavy cream and egg yolks. And sugar. Since then, I’ve been more reserved with my ice cream machine, busting it out only once or twice a summer, or for special occasions.
One of my favorite homemade ice cream flavors has always been fresh mint. Unlike store-bought mint chocolate chip ice cream, which is made with mint extract, fresh mint ice cream made with the actual herb tastes subtle, floral, and herbaceous.
What would happen, I wondered, if I substituted basil for half of the mint?
What would happen, of course, is that Alex and I would eat the entire quart in less than a week, because it was absolutely delicious. Seriously. I wanted to reshoot some of the photos for this post, because I’m not happy with the one above, but… there was no ice cream left. Oops. #foodbloggerproblems.
PS: We happened to have some chocolate-chocolate chip cookies lying around (leftover from a baking project with my niece) and one night Alex made himself a basil ice cream with mint and chocolate chips chipwich. He was not sorry.
Basil Ice Cream with Mint and Chocolate
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Combine the heavy cream and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until just barely simmering. Add the basil and mint and remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool for 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and salt.
Strain the cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. Return to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just barely simmering.
Carefully ladle 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the bowl with egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Then, whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the cream.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 165° and 170° on a thermometer). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and chill until very cold, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, add the chocolate chips.