A couple years ago my sister in law introduced me to the flavor combination of strawberries and basil. Sounds odd at first, but they compliment each other beautifully! And I recently found a love for a frozen treat put plum and basil together, so when I was assigned to make one of the flavors of homemade ice cream for a family reunion, I knew what I wanted to do! Considering that one of my husband's uncles was hesitant to try it because of the basil, but then asked for the recipe later, I'd say it was a success.
Homemade Plum Berry Basil Ice Cream
Yields: 1 quart
1 lbs very ripe plums, pitted and chopped, with skins (I used 4 large plums)
7-8 strawberries, sliced
2/3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup agave (or 3/4 cup sugar)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped and bruised
In a medium pot, cook the plums and strawberries over medium heat, stirring often. Continue until the fruit softens and the plums start to break down — about 15 minutes. Pour into a heat proof bowl (I used a 9×13" glass pan to cool it down faster), add blueberries, then cover and refrigerate until the mixture is room temperature — about 30 minutes.
Pour the cream in the pot you just used for the fruit, and add the agave (or sugar) and basil, which has been finely chopped and bruised by pressing it with the flat part of the knife to release the oils. Warm the cream mixture over medium-low heat, stirring often. Cook for about 5 minutes (if you use sugar, make sure it has dissolved), then remove from heat to let steep — about 15-20 minutes.
Pour cream mixture through a strainer into the bowl (or 9×13" pan) with the fruit mixture to strain the basil, make sure to press the basil leaves with a wooden spoon to release any extra liquid and as much flavor as possible. And if you really like the basil flavor, like myself, you can put a spoonful of it back in. Stir the mixture, then cover and refrigerate, until the ingredients are very cold — 1 to 2 hours, or more.
Pour ice cream into an ice cream machine and freeze/churn until desired consistency. You could serve immediately, or place in a freezer container and freeze for another few hours to harden it up. The lovely fuchsia color comes from the plum!
** If you don't have an ice cream maker, go here for great directions on how to make/freeze ice cream without a machine.
Thank you again for having me Heather! Hope everyone is enjoying an extra sweet summer!