Sweet Basil Ice Cream

Bowl of basil ice cream with garnish
Prep: 4 hrs
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
184 Calories
8g Fat
22g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 87mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 7g
Calcium 207mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Using fresh and dried basil, this wonderful ice cream shows basil's versatility. This ice cream has a very amazing herb flavor but is still on the sweet side. This dessert is the perfect ending to a steak dinner. The addition of fresh berries makes a very colorful presentation.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the fresh basil, dried basil, and salt in a medium, heavy saucepan. Scald the milk mixture over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.

  2. Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sleeve. Return the milk to a clean, medium, heavy saucepan. Scald the milk once again over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

  3. While the milk is scalding, whisk together the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until the eggs are light and fluffy. Whisking constantly, add a small amount of the hot milk to the egg mixture. Gradually whisk in the remaining hot milk.

  4. Return the custard mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place in a bowl of ice water to quickly cool the custard. Let the custard cool, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

  5. While the custard is cooling, combine the cream and the vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the custard mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and press the wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. The custard may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  6. Freeze the chilled custard mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Spice Dreams: Flavored Ice Creams and Other Frozen Treats by Sara Engram and Katie Luber (Andrews McMeel 2010).