strawberry basil ice cream pie with waffle cone crust

July 1, 2012

The past few days have been quite a blur!

For one, BMUB has been live on the internet for one year and is just shy of 100 posts. If baking had a Chinese Zodiac calendar this would been the year of the butter and the brown sugar.

I was going to make a cake to celebrate but because it was about 105 degrees in New York before I left for Europe, I made a different type of treat – an ice cream pie. The strawberry basil combination may sound strange but I promise that the basil only enhances the sweet summer strawberry flavor. It is practically a no-bake dessert and the only turning on of the oven that is required is a brief toast of the waffle cone crust which makes it a perfect thing to make when your kitchen is so hot that it feels like the inside of an oven.

In other news, Paris is about 1000 times more beautiful than I remember. We had a bit of a delay arriving due to some unexpected weather but since we have set foot in the city our days have been filled with nothing but espressos and baguettes and wandering and exploring. This trip has got me bursting with ideas but for now I give you pie!

Perhaps you have been around these parts from the beginning or maybe this is your first visit but regardless this is as good a time as any to say thank you for reading and thank you for your comments. Thank you for making this little bit of the web into a community of awesome.

Now I must get back to those croissants – they aren’t going to eat themselves!

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust
Makes one 9-inch pie

Ice cream adapted from David Lebovitz via Fine Cooking

For the ice cream:
1 pint (2 cups or 473 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (236 ml) milk [I used 2%]
3/4 cup (165 grams) + 1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces and tightly packed
5 egg yolks [don’t toss those leftover whites! oh hey there swirled creamsicle meringues!]
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered

For the waffle cone crust:
one 5-ounce package waffle ice cream cones, broken into large pieces
4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, melted
1 tablespoon (12 grams) brown sugar
pinch of salt

Make the ice cream base: In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Warm over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Stir in the basil leaves, cover, remove from the heat and let the basil steep for an hour.

Oh say what, you have an hour to wait? Let’s make the rest of this pie!

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Butter the sides of a springform pan and line with two strips of parchment (each piece should be roughly 5 inches by 13 inches) so that the parchment extends past the top of the pan. This will make the pie super easy to remove. In the bowl of a food processor pulse the waffle cone pieces until they are fine crumbs. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and pulse a few more times until everything is well mixed and resembles sand. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of a springform pan and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside and let cool completely.

Finish the ice cream: Rinse out any waffle cone crumbs from the bowl of your food processor. Finely chop about 1/2 cup of the quartered strawberries and set aside. Puree the remaining berries in the food processor until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of sugar until dissolved. Discard the seeds.

Next, prepare your ice bath! Fill a large bowl with ice cubes, add several inches of water then set a smaller metal bowl in the ice water. Fill the metal bowl with the remaining cup of cream and set a fine mesh strainer on top. In another medium bowl briefly whisk together the egg yolks. Set aside. Reheat the basil cream mixture over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to form.

Now things get tricky – with one hand begin whisking the eggs and with your other hand slowly pour about half the warm cream mixture into the eggs. This is called tempering and prevents your ice cream from turning into scrambled eggs.*

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly or about 6 minutes. It is done when it coats the back of a spoon and holds a line when a finger is drawn through. Do not let the mixture boil. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream which should be waiting patiently in the ice bath. Make sure to press on the basil leaves with the back of a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible then discard the basil leaves. Stir the strawberry puree into the custard. Let sit in the ice bath until it has cooled slightly then refrigerate until completely chilled. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the reserved strawberry bits in the last few minutes of churning.

Assemble the pie: Spoon the ice cream (it will be very soft) over the prepared crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Freeze for several hours, or overnight, until the ice cream has hardened and has set.

To serve, release the outer springform ring, remove parchment, slice into wedges and serve immediately.

*I found these awesome metal bowls that have non-stick bottoms and I am fairly confident were made specifically for the purpose of one person making ice cream alone. They stay put on the counter while you are whisking and pouring, thus avoiding the need to have a third hand to hold the bowl steady. If you don’t have a third hand or a buddy to help then a damp dish towel wrapped around the base of the bowl will work almost as well.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna July 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

The last photo of the single piece of ice cream pie is beautiful simplicity. I love it! The waffle cone crust is a great idea, I will have to try it. Thank you for the inspiration.


Riley July 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

This looks absolutely wonderful! And strawberries and basil sound like a great combination!


ileana July 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm

What a beautiful pie!


Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches July 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Waffle cone crust, you say? Most intriguing. And the strawberry-basil combo is perfect for early summer! 🙂


thelittleloaf July 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I love the idea of a waffle-crusted ice cream pie! And strawberry and basil is a gorgeous combination. Basil works wonderfully with white chocolate too. Lovely post 🙂


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

This is so pretty! And such a neat flavour too. Yum!


May I Have That Recipe July 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Waffle cone crust is a brilliant idea!! Can’t wait to try this!


Kelsey July 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

I am a huge fan of basil in desserts. And who doesn’t love ice cream? I cannot wait to make this!


alice July 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

yummy! these all look so delicious. your blog is listed on my “inspiration” list on my website 🙂 just love it!


Annie@thisladybakes July 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Ice cream pie is a perfect summer treat! I love frozen mousse, ice cream, semifreddo, etc. in the summer, or any time of year really 🙂 Great recipe!


erinn johnson July 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

The waffle cone crust is a great idea. I have a recipe for homemade cones which would be perfect for this and some cherry ice cream that I just made.


Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies July 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I love the idea of using cones for the crust. What a fun dessert, I love it!


Sarah July 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

Is there a way to make this if you don’t have an ice cream machine?


Lillie July 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

Follow the recipe as it, but instead of the direction “freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions”, pour the custard into a shallow (freezer-safe!) dish and freeze. Check after 45 minutes and as the edges are beginning to freeze, vigorously stir with a spatula to break up any frozen sections. Repeat the stirring every 30 minutes until you have ice cream, then add in the strawberry bits, and spoon into the prepared crust. I haven’t tried this specific recipe using this method but if you do, I’d love to hear how it turns out. 🙂


Sarah July 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hmm, i think it’s more likely that I’d buy some really good ice cream and mix the other stuff in! I am LAZY. And have a tiny freezer.


Leslie July 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Thanks for the instructions for those of us without icecream makers. I tried that freezer method with rhubarb ice cream in June, and was up half the night trying to get it to firm up. I’m thinking that Sarah might have the right approach – mix basil and strawberries into some soft good quality vanilla!

Just found your blog and I LOVE it.


Lillie July 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Yay! So happy you found BMUB! Strawberries + basil + vanilla ice cream = match made in heaven! 🙂


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