HERBS + ICE CREAM written by Sunny and Eli Baker
veryone has their own favorite flavor of ice cream, but you may not have tried ice cream made with fresh herbs. Common garden herbs like rosemary, basil, mint, thyme and sage offer exciting and delicious flavors to enhance this summer treat. According to Bekah Chapman, owner of Sweet Gypsy Creamery in Oxford, when it comes to herb flavor combinations, “the sky is the limit.” Using fresh, seasonal herbs ensures your ice cream will have a bright flavor and fragrance. Strawberry and basil is a classic combination, as is orange and rosemary, or vanilla and mint. “If the farmers grow it, I plan on trying it out,” Chapman said. To make herb ice cream, Chapman recommends a slow steep in cold cream since herbs can be delicate. Muddle a handful of your favorite herb, add to cold heavy cream, and let steep for 12 hours. “Once the cream has had a chance to soak up all that herbal goodness, just strain and incorporate into your chosen ice-cream base,” Chapman said. Whether you grow the herbs yourself or select from a wide variety at the local farmers market, herb ice cream is a luxurious way to celebrate locally grown food this summer. Look for the Sweet Gypsy Creamery ice cream truck all season at the Oxford Community Farmers Market and Tuesday afternoons at the Old Armory Pavilion.
22 INVITATION OXFORD | May 2018
Strawberry and Basil Ice Cream
recipe adapted from realsimple.com by Bekah Chapman
1 pound strawberries (try Native Son Farm for local berries) ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup whole milk (try Brown Family Dairy) 2/3 cup sugar Clean and stem strawberries, then slice into small pieces. In a food processor, puree
half the berries, and set aside. Muddle the basil, then add to the cold cream. Let steep for 12 hours. Strain to remove basil leaves. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, pour into a large bowl, and stir in the strawberry puree. Refrigerate until cool. Pour the cooled mixture into an ice-cream maker. After processing, stir in the sliced strawberries. Place ice cream in a freezable container, and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.