As a kid I was never a fan of homemade ice cream, I know, sacrilege! But for some reason, the ice cream got this icy texture that overpowered the creaminess. And that was even when using fresh from the cow cream and an honest-to-goodness good ‘ol wooden and metal ice cream maker with the salt and whole shebang! What was the salt for again? I digress… having since visited countless ice cream parlors with both homemade hard ice cream, frozen custard, and soft serve, I wanted to give it another chance. I fell in love with cooking because I like being in charge of the ingredients. Why shouldn’t I do the same for my ice cream ingredients!
So, I bought a Cuisinart.
Yep, I didn’t see myself using the old wooden, salt? ice cream maker and didn’t like the results anyways. Could it be any better with a bonafide electric version that promised pure fresh ice cream in 20 minutes? I decided to give it a try.
The Cuisinart comes with a recipe book, of course, so I tried their standard vanilla ice cream. I skeptically mixed the ingredients (heavy cream, required) with the Kitchenaid (one can not have too many appliances, by the way), and chilled the bowl in the fridge. I poured the mixture into the Cuisinart’s freezer bowl and began to watch. With each spin, turn, tumble the liquid began to solidify more and more until I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to get my spoon in there and taste! Before the 20 minute bell even rang, I had a delicious homemade vanilla soft serve ice cream on my hands. I was hooked and re-converted back to a homemade ice cream lovin’ junkie in that moment.
From there I went on to experiment with different flavors – the standard chocolate, strawberry (any berry!), mint chip, peanut butter, etc. All of them use a similar technique with the Cuisinart and provide great results. And now I have to jump on the fun flavors craze that I’ve seen with some of my favorite ice cream shops like Mitchell’s or Jeni’s. Et voilà – Strawberry Basil Ice Cream!
You may think “basil is meant to be eaten with tomatoes, mozzarella or just Italian food”. But somehow it works in sweet foods and drinks, too. And for ice cream, it’s just a matter of mixing/matching any little ingredient that the machine can handle and in 20 minutes, you can eat it! If you want it a little harder, just chill in the freezer. The strawberries were fresh from the farmer’s market and the basil from my garden. And it turned out… delish!
Note: This ice cream is a very light pink in color, not like the over-dyed versions you see at the store. But if you want to pump up the pink, just add a drop or two of red food coloring.
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 TB lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk, very cold
2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
Combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Let sit for 2 hours or so. Strain the juice and mash the strawberries with a fork or puree with a blender.
With a mixer, combine the milk and the remaining sugar and mix on low until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cram, strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla.
Turn the Cuisinart on and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Let churn for about 20 minutes, and then add the lemon zest and basil. Churn 5 minutes more to combine. Eat now as a soft texture or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until desired consistency. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.
Have you experimented with electric ice cream machines? or the old kind, for that matter? I’d love to hear about your results.