Basil Gelato

While visiting family who had just returned from vacation, I commented on how impressive their pots of basil were, and also jokingly pointed out that in the month they were away my husband had stopped in several times and helped himself to a few tomatoes but never once mentioned the basil. Otherwise, he would have been instructed to pilfer some of that as well. I was then provided with an ample supply of basil to take home.

I knew I had to make something with it immediately, to let it spoil in my refrigerator would have been shameful. When presented with a large quantity of basil it appears most people seem to think of pesto, but I wanted to try something different. I remembered the chilling bowl of my ice-cream maker was already in my deep freeze, and knew what I was going to do!IMG_0339

This gelato is exploding with basil flavour, but is not overwhelming thanks to the creamy sweetness of the vanilla base. While basil and vanilla might seem like an odd pair, they actually compliment each other beautifully. Not just for pestos or appetizers, it’s time to think of basil in a different way.

Basil Gelato

This recipe makes about 4 cups of gelato and takes 30 to 45 minutes to prepare, not including chilling time.


2 cups Basil Leaves (Loosely packed)
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 cups Whole Milk
pinch Salt
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Once combined, pour the mixture into a pot. Heat on low, stirring continuously until the custard has thickened and is just about to reach a boil. Don’t allow it to reach boil.
  • Remove the custard from the heat and pour back into the blender or into a non-reactive bowl.
  • Cover and chill overnight.
  • Strain the chilled mixture and pour into the freeze chamber of your ice cream maker and churn as per your unit’s individual instructions.
  • Transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer to firm up or store in the freezer for up to two weeks.IMG_5783IMG_5785IMG_5784IMG_0340

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