While licoricey basil might not be the most obvious pairing for tangy blood orange, it's a actually a surprisingly good combination. It's also a perfect excuse to hunt down the elusive blood orange (though it'll work just fine with regular oranges, if that's all you can find - the flavour will just be slightly less intense than it is with blood oranges.)
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
- ¼ cup orange liqueur (pref Cointreau)
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream (35%)
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- Zest of 2 blood oranges
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and ½ cup cream until wisps of steam begin to rise from the surface. Stir in the basil and remove from heat. Set aside to steep, covered, for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine blood orange juice and liqueur in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and cook until reduced to ¼ cup of syrupy liquid, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- After an hour has passed, return to the milk mixture. Remove basil, and stir in sugar and remaining 1 cup of cream. Warm the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until you see wisps of steam.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Ladle in a small amount of the warm milk mixture, whisking vigorously to keep the eggs from curdling. Slowly pour in the remainder of the warm milk, one or two ladlefuls at a time, whisking constantly as you go.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated into the eggs, pour mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula (a silicone spatula is your best friend when it comes to custard-making - if you don't have one, get one. It's worth it). Remove from heat and whisk in blood orange syrup and orange zest; set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Pour mixture into a clean mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. To ensure your ice cream will set properly, chill custard in refrigerator for 2-3 hours to cool thoroughly before pouring it into your ice cream maker and freezing as per manufacturer's instructions.
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Dessert