Basil Ice Cream & Elderflower Spiked Strawberries!

>> Wednesday, 7 July 2010

It may not surprise you to know that I am an avid food magazine reader. I buy about 5 a month, read them front to back, back to front and then rip pages out of everything that tempts me to try.

I have a big folder bulging with these ripped out bits of paper. They are also spread around the kitchen, in various handbags, almost everywhere in my house in fact! Whilst I love and treasure my cookbooks for classics, I think magazines are great for focusing recipes on seasonal food and popular dishes.

Right now, it would appear that homemade ice cream is the dish du jour! I have held back from buying an ice cream machine as my kitchen is already bursting at the seams with cooking equipment (and aforementioned bits of paper). So, it's been a relief that many of the recipes have included instructions for making it without one. I've tried a few different recipes now (see Lemon and Rosemary ice cream on earlier post) and they've all worked really well.

I was intrigued by a recipe in Delicious magazine for basil ice cream. I've never tried this before and love the fragrant herb in savory dishes so a sweet dish seemed like a great alternative. I served it with fresh British strawberries, which I'd soaked in my new Elderflower liquor (read about this on the July Love List).

The recipe is really easy to follow, but I'd advise making it 24 hours before you need it so it freezes fully. Once the ice cream has been made, you can easily serve this as a quick, crowd pleasing dessert for several people without much hassle at all.

Elegant, British and intriguing - a great summer dessert!

Basil Ice Cream with Elderflower Spiked Strawberries (serves 6 - 8)

50g basil leaves
330g caster sugar
170g mascarpone
830g Greek yoghurt
1 punnet strawberries
1 bottle Elderflower liquor or cordial (optional)

Step 1: Chop your strawberries and leave to marinade in a good splash of elderflower liquor/cordial

Step 2: Place basil leaves in food processor with the caster sugar and pulse under a paste has formed

Step 3: Add the mascarpone and yoghurt and pulse to combine

Step 4: Pour into dish/tub and place in freezer. Remove after 90 minutes and stir briskly with a fork (this removes any ice crystals and ensures you end up with a super smooth ice cream). Repeat this twice more after 90 minute periods.

Step 5: Spoon your beautiful ice cream into bowl, top with your strawberries and serve!

Hope you enjoy!
Helen x

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