That’s it folks, it’s done, we have it, pesto ice cream. No longer do you have to hide and feel ashamed, for all of your dreams have finally come true. Personally, I never thought that I would see the day, but alas it has come! I have created the first ever Pesto Ice Cream.
Though I have trouble trusting anything that is solely backed by the internet, and while I am most likely wrong about this being the first pesto ice cream, I tried to search for any mention of pesto ice cream, recipe or usage, and none could be found. With that said, I am officially (unofficially) declaring myself the creator of Pesto Ice Cream. If I wasn’t immediately giving away my recipe then I’d say screw me, I am clearly a liar and a cheat, but I am revealing my secrets, I can’t help but want to share it with all of you. It is actually quite mind altering.
Props goes to The Scoop On Cones for helping with the inspiration for this dessert. Either I started following them or they me, but either way I mentioned that if they ever wanted someone to test out some weird ice creams, that I love making ice cream and would be happy to give it a whirl. After they wrote me back suggesting garlic or some sort of cheese the only thing that came to my mind was PESTO! I omitted the cheese in this recipe because I already thought it tasted quite like pesto before adding any parmesan, and besides, cheese and ice cream is a bit of a turn off, pesto alone was already a bit much for most to swallow. Once I have a free minute to experiment I plan on making a sweet egg noodle pasta with the pesto ice cream on top, and some shaved parmesan. I imagine that the ice cream will sort of slowly melt into a sauce for the pasta and act as a sweet entree. Think sweet breakfast meals such as pancakes and waffles but the dinner version. If it doesn’t catch on there is only me to blame.
Pesto Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 cups milk, divided in half
- 1.5 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1.5 cup sugar, divided in half
- 7 egg yolks
- 2 garlic cloves
- hanful pinenuts or walnuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
Walnut/Pine nut Pesto Candy (for topping and to mixing in with the ice cream) Recipe Below
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 1 cup of water
- handful of pine nuts or walnuts
- leftover pesto bits from strained ice cream
- COOK 1 cup milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat until bubbly. Stir in basil leaves and garlic and remove from heat. Cover and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Strain basil mixture into a wire strainer
- PROCESS basil mixture in a blender until smooth with the nuts, stopping to scrape down sides. Slowly add in olive oil while food processor is running. Pour mixture back into the milk you had the basil mixture in. Let it sit for another 20 minutes. Strain through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, saving solids (for candy). Set aside.
- COOK remaining 1 cup milk, whipping cream, and 1/2 cup sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until mixture is bubbly. While this is happening see step 4. Remove from heat.
- BEAT egg yolks and remaining sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk mixture into yolks (to temper); add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in basil mixture, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 minutes or until mixture thickens and easily coats the back of a rubber spatula. You should be able to run your finger down the back and see a clean and clear break in the custard mixture. Cover and chill thoroughly, about 4 hours.
- POUR chilled mixture into ice cream mixture and as the ice cream is starting to solidify add in the basil walnut candy. *Alternatively you can make the ice cream by hand without a machine it just requires more work. Once the ice cream is chilled put it in the freezer. After about 45 minutes check the ice cream and as it starts to freeze whip it vigorously with a whisk or fork. Repeat this for the next 4+ hours until the ice cream has frozen over. The longer and more times that you whip the ice cream the fluffier and creamier it gets. Stir in candy once the mixture thickens.
Walnut/Pine nut Pesto Candy Recipe
- In a saucepan bring sugar, water, and leftover pesto bits to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for about 7 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour into a molding of your choice that is lined with parchment paper. Stir in nuts and allow it to cool in the fridge until solid.
- Break up the bits and use inside ice cream and as a topping.