Basil Ice Cream and Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze

"New from the Kitchen"
Recipe of the Month - December 2009

Desserts: Basil Ice Cream and Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze

Basil is an annual herb in the mint family, thought to have originated in India. In use since antiquity as an ingredient in recipes, it is also used in perfumes and soaps. In Italy it is a token of love and in Romania a sign of engagement. Hindus go to sleep with a sprig on their breast as a passport to Paradise. We hope you will try this delicious variation and maybe you will be transported too.

The Lemon cake comes from a recipe in a 2009 Bon Appetit recipe by Abigail Dodge.

Ingredients Basil Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions Basil Ice Cream
Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar and salt to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat and let sit for 1/2 hour. Put in a blender and mix on high until basil is finely ground.

Beal egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until thick and pale. Combine with milk mixture and mix on medium until fully blended.

Pour liquid back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and strain. Chill at least 1 hour. Stir in cream and freeze in an ice cream freezer.

Ingredients Lemon Cornmeal Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted , cooled

Instructions Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350. Butter a 9 inch cake pan with 2 inch high sides; line bottom with parchment. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel and vanilla in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted in center comes out clean and cake pulls away from the sides of pan, about 30 minutes.

Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake and invert so that cake is top side up. Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some will drip down the sides). Cool completely and serve with basil ice cream.

Ingredients Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine ingredients in small bowl and stir until smooth and paste like (add more lemon juice in 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread).