One of our goals at Wild Scoops is to expose people to ice cream flavors they may have never tried before. It's particularly awesome when someone makes a look of disgust but then reluctantly agrees to try a weird flavor, and then ends up loving it, buying it, raving about it, etc!
Our first batch of basil honey walnut starred local basil grown hydroponically by Alaska Sprouts. Alaska Sprouts is a super company that sells sprouts, microgreens, tofu and mature live plants -- including the basil that we bought. We stuck it in a jar of water (it's a thirsty beast), and let it continue to grow. We pinched off some leaves and steeped them in cream for this basil flavor, and the plant itself is still going strong.
This was actually the flavor that planted the seed for Wild Scoops. When I stumbled upon a basil recipe in an ice cream cookbook three years ago, it intrigued me. I plucked some basil from my garden, churned out a batch and felt my eyes pop out of their sockets. WOW. It's amazing to take an herb often paired with savories and turn it sweet. I loved the idea of taking local ingredients--even ones not commonly used in ice cream--and steeping them in cream to create flavors that capture the essence of a place.
We pair the subtle basil base with homemade honeyed walnuts, adding just the perfect sweet crunch to balance basil's smoothness. We're excited about this one and hope you give it a try this Saturday at the South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9-2.