I promise this is the last of the basil saga; at least for now. But really how can I help it?
The weather is simply gorgeous. I tell you this is the charm of Texas. It holds your hand and slowly and magically lures you into the winter season, so beautifully that you forget that the triple digit temperature almost had you dead only a few weeks back. The birds are chirping , the shimmering light plays on every blade of grass, the wind chimes are making music in every yard and the most pleasant breeze is blowing through my hair as I sit by the open window, close my eyes and absorb the enchantment – all of it. I am not sure if this is a walk into the winter or summer. There is not a single fallen leaf (by the way, I do miss the fall colors), on the contrary everything looks greener than it did in this past summer. It feels a lot like spring, right now; mocking birds, butterflies, the wide open windows, everything does. I cannot but drink in every moment of it.
The strawberries had disappeared or at least I thought so. Last week I found a shelf full of boxes again, and too cheap to walk by them without grabbing a whole lot. I bought five pounds. With the bunch of fresh basil (from my friend) and the strawberries, I did not have to think much. It had to be the ice cream.
After all, we are the few fortunate ones who gets to enjoy the spring during fall. Ice creams are meant for all year round. How about in your home?
This ice cream is fantastic soft serve too, just as it comes out of the ice cream maker.
and a lot of it were gone even before it went in the freezer…
(I had my eye on this photograph, for a long time. The idea was really cute, and it kind of stayed with me even though I had not gone back to look at it. I tried out a shot or two with the same idea, but when I finally found the original, it looked way different than what I had in mind. )
The ice cream here does not have any eggs. It is an uncomplicated recipe and the result is more like a gelato, light, fluffy and creamy. The basil and the lime zest makes the flavors very very refreshing.
Fresh Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
- 450 ml heavy cream/double cream//heavy whipping cream
- 250 ml half and half
- 1 lb fresh strawberries + 1/2 lb fresh strawberries, washed, and hulled
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (no stem)
- 1.5 cups sugar, or as per taste
- a pinch of salt
- zest of 2 medium sized lime
- 1/2 cup blanched and slivered almonds, very lightly toasted
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional – the alcohol helps break up the crystals)
Note: Instead of using part half and half, and part heavy/double cream, you can use all heavy/double cream
Blend/process half and half, heavy cream (or cream if you are using all cream), sugar, zest, 1 lb strawberries, basil leaves until smooth.
Chop the 1/2 lb strawberries. Set aside. This is going to be added to the ice cream for some extra bites.
Crush nuts just enough and not too much, or they will release oil. Set aside
Combine all ingredients, with the cream, basil and strawberry blend in the ice cream maker and process as per instructions. Add the vodka and churn for another 10 minutes.
If you do not have an ice cream maker:
(In a large container, stir in the basil & strawberry cream blend, almond, zest, salt, chopped strawberries and the vodka and freeze. Approx. every one to two hours take the ice cream out from the freezer and blend it with the hand blender or whip it with a spoon till your arms are sore – this is to break up the ice crystals. You might have to repeat this process about 3 – 4 times.)
Freeze until all set.