Lemon complements this flavor combo so well; serve this ice cream with a lemony tuile or wedge of lemon poundcake.
Make Ahead: The ice cream mixture needs to be chilled overnight before placing in the ice cream maker for processing. The ice cream needs at least 2 hours' time in the freezer before serving.
- 12 ounces fresh blueberries, stemmed and rinsed
- 15 to 18 basil leaves (1/4 cup, packed)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 12 large egg yolks (3/4 cup)
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 pint half-and-half
Combine the blueberries, basil leaves and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the berries collapse and yield their juices. Transfer to a blender and let it cool there for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the ice cream base: Combine the remaining cup of sugar and the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl, stirring to form a thick mixture.
Combine the heavy cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat, just until it bubbles at the edges. Remove from the heat.
Whisk about 1/2 cup of the heated dairy mixture into the egg yolk-sugar mixture; this will help temper the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk in the remaining heated mixture, taking care not to overheat the egg yolks (or they may curdle).
Pour the combined mixture into a large saucepan; heat over medium to medium-low heat, stirring until it has thickened to an almost pancake-batter consistency and can coat the back of a spoon without dripping off (6 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean deep bowl.
Puree the cooled blueberry mixture in the blender until smooth, then strain, if desired, into the ice cream base. Stir to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours (overnight). The mixture should be noticeably thicker.
Transfer to the frozen container of an ice cream maker and process, following the manufacturer's directions (20 to 30 minutes). The ice cream will be soft but servable right away. For best results, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, then cover and freeze for about 2 hours before serving.
From Howard Foer, chef-owner at Poplar Springs Inn and Spa in Casanova, Va.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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