Basil-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Editor's note: Stellina Pasta Cafe has closed.
1½ cups half-and-half
4 sprigs basil
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. basil chiffonade
• Heat the half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed pan until it begins to bubble at the edges. Do not boil. Add the basil sprigs and the vanilla bean.
• Cover, remove the pot from the heat, and allow the half-and-half mixture to steep for 30 minutes.
• Pour the half-and-half mixture through a fine strainer into a medium bowl and reserve.
• Remove the vanilla bean from the strainer, scrape the seeds and add them to the reserved mixture.
• In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt until thick and pale yellow in color. Set aside.
• Pour the half-and-half mixture into a large 3- or 4-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. Gradually and slowly add the hot half-and-half to the reserved egg mixture, stirring constantly to combine.
• Pour the blended mixture back into the pan and place on low heat.
• Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the custard thickens. Do not boil.
• Once thickened, allow the custard to cool slightly. Stir in the heavy cream. Refrigerate until chilled.
• Remove from the refrigerator and stir the custard thoroughly. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturerï¿½s directions.
• When the ice cream is set, remove it from the freezer, mix to blend, then stir in the basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.
• If a firmer ice cream is desired, store the finished ice cream in an air-tight container and freeze harder. May be kept frozen up to one month.