Lemon Basil Ice Cream with Cracked Pepper Recipe:  This is one of my favorite summertime ice cream recipes.  I find that lemon is amazingly refreshing when infused into ice cream.  The basil acts like one heck of a sidekick providing for an in depth overall flavor and the cracked pepper amplifies the flavor of both the basil and the lemon in the ice cream.

Whenever I mention that I am putting cracked pepper into an ice cream dish I am met with dumbfounded looks that often contain a hint of disgust. But these quizzical looks quickly turn to smiling faces once they get a taste of this beautiful dessert.


The lemon is definitely the dominate ingredient in this ice cream.  Both the basil and the pepper provide for subtle background flavors creating a wonderful combination.

Live to eat!

3.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Basil Ice Cream with Cracked Pepper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemon Basil Ice Cream with Cracked Pepper - Refreshing ice cream recipe that is wholly unique.
Recipe type: Ice Cream
Serves: 1 quart
  • 2 Cups Cream (divided)
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Inverted Sugar (or sub light corn syrup)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • ½ Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Zest
  1. Place 1 cup of cream in a metal bowl and place over ice
  2. Place into a medium saucepan the rest of the cream, the milk, the lemon zest, the sugar, the inverted sugar (or corn syrup) and the salt. Cook on medium heat until everything melts together.
  3. Add the fresh basil (don't chop it) and cook the mixture until it just begins to boil. Immediately take off heat and cover for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour strain the mixture through a fine strainer making sure the press on the basil and zest to extract all of the flavor. Return mixture to saucepan and reheat on medium low.
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Slowly add the heated mixture **IMPORTANT: while you are adding the mixture make sure you are furiously whisking the mixture to prevent the eggs from cooking!
  6. Once half the warmed mixture is mixed with the egg yolks, pour the lemon basil and egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and continue to heat on medium low heat.
  7. Continue to heat the mixture until it thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon and leave a tracer of your finger (SEE IMAGE BELOW).
  8. Once you get the proper thickness, strain the mixture into the cream you have set aside in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. You may see some small curdles of cooked egg, but that is okay as long as you strain the mixture.
  9. Stir the mixture and wait for it to reach at least room temperature so that it is safe to put in the fridge. At that point cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate anywhere from 2 hours - Overnight.
  10. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  11. Freeze overnight.
Making Ice Cream Custard

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Do you add the pepper to the custard mixture or just sprinkle on top of frozen ice cream? I don’t see it listed anywhere in the directions.

  • Good recipe for basil ice cream, but I could not taste the lemon at all. I even added a bit of lemon juice because I was skeptical that 2 tbsp of zest would be enough, but it’s still overwhelmingly basil-flavored. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I do still like the taste, but again, not lemony.

    It would also be nice to get some clarity on what exactly 1 cup of basil leaves mean. How tightly should they be packed? How much should it weight?


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