Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, Part 3: Basil & Pine-Nut Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirl

This is Part 3 of my series on Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. In Part 1 I told you what I love about the book. In Part 2 I told you what I don't like, where I'll compromise, and how I tweak the recipes. And now, what you've been waiting for: a recipe!

This is a perfect early fall ice cream, when basil and blackberries can still be found at the farmer's market.

I know, I know. It sounds weird. Basil and pine nuts in my ice cream? Isn't that what pesto is made of?

Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected. I never would have thought this up on my own; I've got Jeni to thank for the creativity behind this ice cream. Except...the blackberry sauce was my idea. And it was a really good idea.

How I've Adapted This Recipe 


As I mentioned in Part 2,  I make a few modifications to her recipes. I use arrowroot in place of cornstarch, honey in place of corn syrup, reduce the sugar, and use either sucanat or organic white sugar. I opted for the organic white sugar this time, because I didn't think the molasses flavor of the sucanat would combine with the flavor of this ice cream. 

Make Time For Homemade Ice Cream 


If you asked me how in the world I find time to make complicated homemade ice cream with two small children around, I would tell you that it took me about a week to make this ice cream, start to finish. One day I made the pine nut pralines. The next day I made the blackberry sauce. A few days later I made the ice cream base and put it in the fridge to chill. And the next day, I churned it (no, not by hand, silly), layered in the pine nuts and blackberry sauce, and put it in the freezer. And then I greedily scraped the ice cream maker clean with my rubber scraper to salvage every last morsel of deliciousness. (Oh my was it good.)

But my point is that you can make homemade ice cream, too, no matter how busy you are. If you can't do it all in one day, break it up into baby steps. This ice cream is more nutritious than anything you can buy in the store, and the unique flavor combination is something you've just got to try.

Basil & Pine Nut Ice Cream with Blackberry Swirl


Equipment needed: Glass baking dish, sauce pan, medium glass bowl with lid, whisk, heat-proof spatula, Ice Cream Maker, freezer-safe container for storing ice cream

Pine Nut Pralines
1/2 c. pine nuts
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. honey
1 T. sucanat
1/8 t. sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spread in a square baking dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Stir, then bake until bubbly and golden brown, another 5-10 minutes. Stir as they cool, breaking them apart into small chunks.

Blackberry Sauce
1 1/2 c. blackberries
1/3 c. honey

Combine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, mashing and stirring as it cooks. Let cool completely before adding to ice cream.

Ice Cream Base
1 1/4 c. grass-fed cream
2 c. whole milk
1 T + 1 t. arrowroot powder
2 T. honey
1/3 c. organic sugar
3 T. cream cheese, softened
1/4 t. sea salt
a large handful of fresh basil leaves

  1. Measure the cream and milk in a glass measuring cup. Pour into a large saucepan, leaving about 2 T. in the measuring cup.
  2. Add the honey and sugar to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat to bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, add the arrowroot to the measuring cup and whisk to combine.
  4. In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and salt. (If you forget to let your cream cheese soften, it's okay. You can use your immersion blender later.)
  5. When the cream mixture is gently boiling, whisk in the arrowroot mixture. Continue to heat, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until it thickens slightly. If you're not sure if it thickened, taste some with a spoon (blow on it first!). Your tongue will know.
  6. Whisk the cream mixture into the cream cheese. If your cream cheese wasn't softened, blend with an immersion blender until no lumps remain.
  7. Add the basil, put a lid on the bowl, and chill either in a sink full of ice water or in the fridge. (It's ok to leave it in the fridge overnight if you run out of time!)
  8. When the ice cream base is cold, strain out the basil with a slotted spoon or by pouring over a sieve. 
  9. Churn in your ice cream maker. When it is cold and creamy (and tastes like ice cream), transfer it to a container. As you spoon it in, layer it with the pine nuts and blackberry sauce. Keep alternating layers until you've used all your ingredients. Work quickly so it doesn't melt!
  10. Place in the freezer to chill for at least four hours before eating. 

I'm sure I'll be sharing more recipes based on this book in the future. Because it's my new favorite thing. Hope you enjoyed this series!


What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?  And what's the most adventurous ice cream you've ever tried?


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase something through them, I will receive a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting Plus Other Good Stuff! 

This is part of: Monday Mania, Weekend Gourmet, Motivate me Monday, Make the Scene Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Natural Living Monday, Fat Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Make Your Own Monday, Fill Those Jars Friday


  1. I'm stopping over from Fat Tuesday. I have never tried ice cream with basil and pine nuts. What an intriguing idea!

    I recently launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I'd love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/09/20/fill-those-jars-friday-september-21-2012/

    See you there!

    1. Mindy, thanks for letting me know about your carnival! I finally made it over tonight. :)

  2. Wow, Joanna, this sounds scrumptious! Very interesting flavor combination. You should enter this in some type of ice cream recipe contest.

    1. Thanks Kristel! If you hear of such a thing, let me know. :)

  3. Hi Joanna,
    This is such a special Ice Cream, I just love the flavor of the Basil and Blackberries and can't wait to taste this great Ice Cream. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back shortly when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)