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.