Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ice Cream Addicts

I grew up in a home where we knew our mother had an addiction. She had it bad. Every night after dinner we watched her feed the monkey. And that monkey was hooked on ice cream.

Mom has always been tall and slim. When I was a kid I watched her anguish over her slender figure. No matter what she ate, she couldn't gain weight. At one point early in one of her pregnancies the doctor ordered her to consume at least one ice cream shake every day. As with many addicts, Mom's path to dependency began with a prescription.

Not sure if Mom would like this Lemon Basil Sherbet, but T sure does. After drinking more than his fair share of basil lemonade at our neighborhood D'Amicos T declared that the combination of fruit and herb is his favorite flavor. He scoured the summer issues of my food magazines searching for a lemon basil  ice cream recipe but came up empty. Then I found a Lemon and Fresh Sorrel Sherbet recipe in the July issue of Food and Wine. I tweaked it (hilarious pun intended) toward T's tastes.

Lemon Basil Sherbet would be delicious made with any fresh herbs available this time of year. For a savory version I'll try it with dill, cilantro, or possibly tarragon. The addition of mint would also be great. For now, I'll watch T devour what remains in the freezer and I'll fondly recall Mom's guiltless binges. Recipe makes about 1 quart (enough for T to eat three nights in a row).

Lemon Basil Sherbet*
1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup lightly packed basil leaves
Zest from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In small bowl sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

In medium saucepan combine sugar with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice gelatin. Cool completely and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

In blender or food processor combine lemon mixture with milk and basil and puree until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain through fine sieve into bowl and stir in zest and vanilla.

Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to airtight container and freeze about 2 hours before serving.

*Adapted from July 2013 Food and Wine magazine.

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