strawberry and basil ice cream recipe

In this delicious summer dessert, the basil really brings out the flavour of the strawberries, and the basil oil makes a surprising and excellent sauce. This recipe will make much more oil than you need for one batch of ice cream, but you can use it on Tomato, basil and mozzarella salad, or drizzled over Aubergine and mozzarella stacks.

For 6-8

  • 800g strawberries
  • small bunch of fresh basil, plus a few extra leaves to serve
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150g caster sugar

For the basil oil (makes about 550ml)

  • large handful of fresh basil leaves, without stalks
  • 500ml mild olive oil

First make the oil, blanch the basil leaves briefly, then put them into iced water. Pat dry on a tea towel. Put the oil in a food processor, add the basil and process for 5 minutes. Transfer to a jug and leave in the fridge for 1 week.

Strain the oil through muslin, then pour into a dry, warm, sterilised bottle (you can sterilise it in a very hot dishwasher, or boil it in a pan of water for 10 minutes). Seal and label with a date. It keeps for a couple of months. Once open, store in the fridge.

To make the ice cream, hull the strawberries and puree 600g of them with the basil and citrus juice in a food processor. (Keep a few basil leaves for scattering when you serve.) Add the cream and sugar, mixing well. Taste, remembering that the flavour is milder when frozen than at room temperature, so add more basil if necessary.

Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker if you have one. Freeze/churn for about 20 minutes, then pack into a plastic container and freeze for 2 hours.

If you don't have an ice-cream maker, place the mixture in a shallow container and freeze until half frozen (about 1 hour). Remove and fork through, mixing the frozen edge into the middle to break up the ice crystals. Repeat twice.

Before serving, allow the ice cream to soften in the fridge for 15 minutes. When ready, scoop it into individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with the remaining strawberries and one or two basil leaves.

Place a bottle or jug of basil oil on the table for everyone to drizzle over their serving.

strawberry and basil ice cream