Last month I attended my ten-year reunion at Princeton Theological Seminary. There are many wonderful things about PTS and Princeton in general, but one of the best is The Bent Spoon. They were wearing flannel and making artisanal ice cream before it was cool to pickle things. And the ice cream is the. best. ever. Dark chocolate earl gray. Pistachio. Basil. Cardamom ginger. I am a little disappointed that I only visited twice in the 2.5 days of my reunion.
Since I got home, I’ve been dreaming of the delicate flavors and smooth texture. Summer fruits are just coming into season in Massachusetts making my dreams even sweeter. With no artisan ice cream stand in sight, I decided it was time to learn a new skill. I picked up this nifty Donvier ice cream maker for a bargain on Craigslist and headed to Lavoies Farm to pick strawberries.
Strawberry Basil Gelato
I love the surprising combination of strawberries and basil, and this gelato is easy to make because it does not require cooking custard with egg yolks. I started with this Strawberry Gelato recipe and adapted it by omitting the pomegranate juice and steeping fresh basil leaves in the milk/cream mixture.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8-10 basil leaves, torn in half
2 1/4 cups sliced hulled strawberries (about 1.5 pounds)
Stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in milk, cream, and basil. Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Pour into bowl. Cool over ice, stirring occasionally. Remove basil leaves and discard.
Puree strawberries in processor and mix into gelato base. If you prefer an extra smooth gelato, strain the berries through a fine mesh sieve before mixing with the base. Chill 3 hours. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. For soft serve style gelato, serve immediately. For harder gelato, transfer to container. Cover; freeze until firm.