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Today I was planning to test out our backyard grill for dinner but Mother Nature had another idea. (This rain needs to stop!) Luckily we got in some good BBQ time out in Long Island yesterday. I made this for dessert after our strip steaks from Arcadian Pastures (yum!) with potatoes and onions and corn on the grill…pan. Tasty meal!

I’ve been using my CSA purple basil in a lot of dinners lately but I wanted to make something that really showed off the basil. Of course there is pesto but I wanted to do something different. I’m not really sure where I got the idea to make basil ice cream but I think I just wanted to experiment with making ice cream again. I thought something fruity would be good in it and decided to make a blackberry jam to swirl in. The recipe for the basil ice cream came from Epicurious. The jam recipe I just made up. The ice cream was really good and unique. It was really creamy and the blackberry jam added a nice tartness to it. It has a great color too.

Purple Basil and Blackberry Ice Cream

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients for ice cream:
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup cold heavy cream

Ingredients for blackberry jam:
1/2 pint blackberries
1/4 cup sugar

Directions:
Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes. Blend mixture using a hand blender until basil is finely chopped.

Beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add milk in a stream, beating until well combined. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Refrigerate until cold. I let mine sit overnight. If you don’t want to wait you can set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and stir. Make jam, see below.

Stir in the cream and freeze in an ice cream maker.

Transfer to an airtight container and swirl in jam.

Freeze for a least 2 hours or until hardened.

Jam directions:
Cook blackberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat. Smash up the berries with a spoon. Cook until the berries break down and thickens. I processed mine through a food mill but you could pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Refrigerate until cold. You will stir this in after the ice cream comes out of the ice cream maker.

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