Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Sweet Treats Inspired by Freshly Grown Herbs

Wayne makes lemon basil ice cream and a few other sweet treats from freshly grown herbs.

By Wayne Johnson
|  Monday, Sep 6, 2010  |  Updated 4:45 AM CDT
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Icy Cold Sweet Desserts

Wayne's Weekend: Lemon Basil Ice Cream

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I wanted to do a segment that focused on the fresh herbs I’ve been growing all summer and the often unique things you can find at your local farmers mareket.  Once again my facebook friends came through with great suggestions.  Rather than using herbs in traditional ways, I experimented with using them in sweet desserts.  These four ice cream recipes are rather similar in preparation but the flavors are miles apart.  Once you’ve mastered the basic approach try experimenting with combinations of your own.  You’ll be surprised how tasty a traditionally savory flavor can be as a dessert.

Lemon Basil Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 cu Fresh Basil Leaves, loosely packed
2 tbl Lemon Balm Leaves (or zest from 1 lemon)
1 1/4 cu Whole Milk
3/4 cu Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 cu Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
6 lg Egg Yolks
Basil Leaves, for garnish (optional)

Method

Place basil leaves, lemon balm leaves, 1/4 cup of sugar and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow leaves to release their flavor for 30 minutes.  Pour ingredients into a blender and blend well for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Strain ingredients through a fine sieve and pour back into saucepan.  Add the heavy cream and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Do not boil.

Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.   While still whisking, slowly pour about 2 cups of the simmering cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Once combine, pour combined mixture back into the saucepan. Continue cooking on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wood spoon and reaches 175 degrees on a thermometer.  Be careful not to boil mixture.   Pour mixture into a large bowl (if there lumps in the mixture strain one more time before continuing).  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  Garnish servings with a basil leaf or two.

Strawberry Peach Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 cu Strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 lg Peaches, sliced, about 2 cups
2 tbl Lemon Balm Leaves
3/4 cu Whole Milk
3/4 cu Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
6 lg Egg Yolks
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cu Heavy Cream
1 lg Peach, chopped into fine pieces
Lemon Balm Leaves, for garnish (optional)

Method

Place peach slices, strawberries, lemon balm and whole milk in a blender and blend for 2 minute or until smooth.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve.  Pour puree into a medium saucepan and add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the salt.  Add heavy cream and bring mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Do not boil.

Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.   While still whisking, slowly pour about 2 cups of the simmering cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Once combine, pour combined mixture back into the saucepan. Continue cooking on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wood spoon and reaches 175 degrees on a thermometer.  Be careful not to boil mixture.   Pour mixture into a large bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly on surface of the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and add the remaining chopped peaches 5 minutes before the freezing process is complete.
 
Squash Blossom Blueberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 pint Fresh Blueberries
2 oz Fresh Squash Blossoms
1 cu Whole Milk
2 cu Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cu Granulated Sugar
6 lg Egg Yolks
1/2 cu Fresh Nasturtium Blossoms (optional) for garnish

Method

Pour squash blossoms, blueberries and whole milk into a blender and blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth.   Pour puree into a saucepan and add cream and salt.  Bring mixture to a simmer.  Do not boil.

Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.   While still whisking, slowly pour about 2 cups of the simmering cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Once combine, pour combined mixture back into the saucepan. Continue cooking on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wood spoon and reaches 175 degrees on a thermometer.  Be careful not to boil mixture.   Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Rosemary Lemon Grass Ice Cream

Ingredients

1/2 cu Fresh Rosemary Leaves (removed from stem)
1 cu Fresh Lemon Gras, loosely packed
zest of 1 Lime
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/4 cu Whole Milk
6 lg Egg Yolks
3/4 cu Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 cu Heavy Cream
Thin lime slices (4-6), dusted in sugar and frozen, for garnish

Method

Place rosemary, lemon grass, lime zest, milk and 1/4 cup of sugar in a sauce and bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow leaves to release their flavor for 30 minutes.  Place mixture in a blender and blend for 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve and return to saucepan.  Add cream and salt and bring to a simmer.  Do not boil.

Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.   While still whisking, slowly pour about 2 cups of the simmering cream mixture into the egg yolks.  Once combine, pour combined mixture back into the saucepan. Continue cooking on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wood spoon and reaches 175 degrees on a thermometer.  Be careful not to boil mixture.  Pour mixture into a large bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on facebook.
 

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