I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for Parsley Ice Cream since I first purchased David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. I’m really not sure why I waited this long. The ingredients are cheap and accessible and the process is fairly standard (in terms of ice cream making). This past weekend, I finally decided to give the recipe a go. Results: delicious and unexpected. Vibrant parsley is blended into a French custard base then churned into a cool, refreshing treat. Be sure to use flat leaf parsley rather than curly parsley. Flat leaf parsley has a slight anise flavor that works well in the sweets arena. Pair this ice cream with fresh berries for a well-rounded springtime dessert. So, so tasty. Continue reading for the recipe.
Parsley Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop.
1 cup packed flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 large egg yolks
Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with cold water and ice. Set aside.
Once the water has come to a boil, add the parsley and cook for 10 seconds (aka blanching). Using a large slotted spoon, transfer parsley from the boiling water to the ice bath to halt the cooking process. Let the parsley sit in the water for 1 minute, then remove and dry. I would recommend squeezing the parsley tightly in your hand to extract as much water was possible. Then place on a paper towel lined plate and press with another paper towel to remove any remaining moisture.
Add parsley and 3/4 cup half and half to a blender*. Puree on high until the parsley is very finely ground (about 1 minute). Scrape the parsley mixture into a large bowl and set a mesh basket strainer on top.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup half and half to a small saucepan with the sugar and fine grain sea salt. Bring mixture to just below a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar (the liquid should just begin to bubble).
Meanwhile, whisk the large egg yolks in a bowl until slightly thickened. Slowly, while whisking, pour the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Take your time here so you don’t scramble the egg (this process is known as tempering). Once tempered, return the egg-cream mixture to the saucepan.
Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You will know the custard is thick enough when you see steam rise from the surface and the custard coats the spoon. Pour the custard through the mesh basket strainer into the bowl with the parsley mixture. Place the bowl in the previously used ice bath and stir until cool.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes about 2 cups.
*I originally tried blending the parsley and half and half in a small food processor; however, the method did not achieve a fine enough grind. I would recommend using a blender to get the right texture.