Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reduced-Fat Basil Ice Cream

Four months from today, M and I will be married.  I cannot wait to be married to the most wonderful man I've ever known.  He has terrific ambitions, works so very hard, and still finds time to let me know just how much he loves me.

One of those very special times, of course, was the surprise vacation he took me on this past June.  I didn't find out until we got to the airport that we were going to San Francisco.  I had no idea where we were going all weekend.  Best of all, we left as boyfriend and girlfriend and came home as an engaged couple. 

While in San Francisco, M took me to an incredible and indulgent dinner at Michael Mina in Union Square.  While there, we had a dessert we both quickly agreed was among the best we've ever had.  We're huge fans of basil, so when the server mentioned a vanilla panna cotta with basil granita and fresh strawberries, we were in.  No questions, no hesitation.  Just a quick look at each other and a "Yep, we'll do that!"  It was incredible.  Just incredible.  When leaving the restaurant, we mentioned to the Maitre d' how much we enjoyed the basil granita.  He told us about a fantastic basil gimlet at a super cool bar around the corner.  We walked straight from Michael Mina to the bar for our after dinner drink.  Wonderful.

To celebrate our upcoming wedding, I wanted to make a dessert to remember our wonderful engagement weekend.  I knew I could never make exactly what we'd had at Michael Mina, so I put my own spin on it.  Using basil from our very own basil plant, I adapted David Lebovitz's recipe for basil ice cream and served it in a martini glass reminiscent of our after dinner drink. 

M loved it and I was so glad.  I can't wait to be his wife.

Reduced-Fat Basil Ice Cream
adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
1 c. packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 c. half and half
1 c. 2% milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 TBSP vodka

1.  Process the basil leaves, sugar, and one cup of the half and half in a blender until the leaves are as fine as possible.

2.  Pour half of the mixture into a large bowl and add the rest of the half and half. Place the bowl in an ice bath.

3.  Warm the rest of the mixture in a saucepan  with the milk, vanilla, and salt. 

4.  In another bowl, whisk the the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the warmed basil mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time while continuously whisking. 

5.  Pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan.  Constantly stir the mixture over medium heat. Scrape the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.  Stir the custard until cool.  Add the vodka.

6.  Pour the custard into a quart size container and place until the refrigerator at least four hours, preferably overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream manufacturer’s instructions. 

one year ago: basil pesto a la Kelsey
two years ago: magic blondies


Nicole, RD said...

Aw, you're so in love :) So romantic!

The basil ice cream AND that basil gimlet sound equally amazing! I'm a gimlet girl!

Franky said...

never tried basil ice cream before! would love to!