The other day I was walking around the city streets near my apartment when I stopped off at a park bench to rest and people watch. I couldn't help but notice the remarkably long line in front of the town's ice cream store. I'm not sure whether it was the tremendously hot summer evening or the typical craving one gets from said scenario.
A while later walking home, I saw a couple of friends across the street laughing, conversing ful and simply enjoying their evening together. I noticed each person had an ice cream in hand. One-by-one, the pack got smaller as each person withdrew, heading back to their own lives with their own apartments and weekly routines. In that moment, I was reminded of how food can b used to bring people together, even in the little ways on a city street some time between work hours and Neflix binges.
So here we are. In case you hadn't heard, it's ice cream season and I'm all about it. I've done an admirable job of supplying you with bad writing. But I've done a less admirable job of supplying you with ice cream recipes. Until now.
I eyed fresh mint leaves at the farmers market before I thought up this dreamy combination. And then I added chocolate - a win on all accounts. During the summer few things are better than enjoying delicious ice cream with loved ones. Don't argue with me or act like that't not true.
Plot twist: I added basil. And booze. My work here is done.
Boozy Basil & Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
(yields 8 to 10 servings)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Creme de Menthe
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
4 purple basil leaves, coarsley chopped (or green basil)
Place your ice cream maker in the freezer 24 hours prior to using.
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm heavy milk, cream, egg yolks and salt, stirring vigorously with a whisk. Add in sugar and stir util until dissolved. Turn heat to high, let the mixture begin to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the Creme de Menthe, vanilla and remove from heat.
Cover the mixture and chill in the refrigerator for several hours. When ready, remove ice cream maker from freezer and pour ice cream mixture into the base. Follow manufacturer's directions while making, then fold in the chocolate chunks and chopped basil during the last 5 minutes of churning.
Once done, transfer to a loaf pan or freezer-friendly bowl and place in the freezer until ready to eat.
Let the ice cream firm up in the freezer for a few hours before serving.