July 7, 2010

Purple Basil Gelato

With NYC reaching 100F/40C all this week, we've been looking for ways to stay cool.  We've gotten up early to buy fresh produce and herbs from the farmers' markets (when it's a cool 80F/26C at 8AM) and then we'd hurry back home to hibernate indoors. 

One of my farmers' market finds was purple basil.  I bought it for its color and then decided to make a purple basil gelato (adapted from a recipe my husband found online).  I used more milk and less cream than the original recipe (based on what I had on-hand), but the end result was still fragrant and creamy.

Purple Basil Gelato (adapted from Joe Quercia of Freddy’s Pizzeria)
Ingredients (makes 8-10 servings)
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
40 purple basil leaves
1 cup white granulated sugar
1. Combine milk, cream, sugar and basil leaves in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer; do not boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2.  Remove from heat, cover and let cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer mixture to blender and puree. (We just used our Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender)
4.  Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 hours (We chilled it overnight).
5.  Transfer to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s
instructions.  (We froze the gelato overnight).
Even my hubby enjoyed this sweet dessert!  The basil flavor is subtle and the gelato itself is very refreshing.  I would serve this gelato to others without telling them what the flavor is just to see their reactions.
The rest of the purple basil was used in a caprese salad.  Maybe next time, with basil gelato and tomato sorbet, I'll make the salad in dessert form!


  1. Hmm... not sure I can place what this might taste like.. would be very interested to give it a test drive.. tomatoes & basil is gorgeous!

  2. This looks so decadent, and I can only imagine the lovely fragrance it possessed. I'm actually looking forward to your idea, basil gelato and tomato sorbet, yum!!!

  3. I may be a little biased, given my penchant for purple, but this basil is just so pretty. Love the use of it in gelato. Not so much loving the ungelato weather I am currently stuck in, but I guess you can't have everything. I may console myself... with gelato :D

  4. oh my! toronto isn't any better too! this week was like hell. i almost had an astma attack with the humid heat that I couldn't breath. but the weekend will be getting better :)

    love the ice-cream picture! just what everyone need!!!

    have a lovely day!


  5. The purple basil is so pretty. I've never seen that around here. I love the ice cream you made with it. What a sophisticated and delicious sounding flavour.
    Keep cool in the heat my daaaaaaaaahling.
    *kisses* HH

  6. What great ideas to use up that purple basil growing on my balcony! I love the contrast of the purple basil with the tomatoes.


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