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Basil Ice Cream

Basil Ice Cream
  • Prep: 30 minutes prep, plus 4-5 hours for chill and freezing time
  • Cook: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart

Enjoy a taste of Idaho’s summer season with homemade basil ice cream, blending the cool creaminess of homemade ice cream with the fresh, herbaceous notes of locally grown basil.

kitchen tip:

When combining the warm cream mixture with the egg yolks and sugar, do so gradually and whisk continuously. This process, called tempering, prevents the eggs from curdling and ensures a smooth custard base

Categorized: Desserts


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Optional: Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • Infuse the Milk and Cream:

    In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, and fresh basil leaves. Heat over medium heat until the mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let the basil steep in the cream mixture for about 30 minutes to infuse the flavors.

  • Prepare the Ice Cream Base:

    Strain the infused cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing on the basil leaves to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the basil leaves.In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, salt, and egg yolks until smooth and slightly pale.

  • Temper the Eggs:

    Gradually whisk a small amount of the warm infused cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs. Continue adding the cream mixture slowly, whisking constantly, until fully combined.

  • Cook the Custard:

    Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Cook until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Do not let it boil.

  • Chill the Custard:

    Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any cooked egg bits. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Churn the Ice Cream:

    Once chilled, pour the custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency.

  • Freeze the Ice Cream:

    Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container. Press a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.

  • Serve:

    Scoop the basil ice cream into bowls or cones. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.