Recipe: Cool off with a treat

[attach]1964[/attach]On a warm summer evening, what could be tastier than a rich, creamyscoop of ice cream? Most of us buy ice cream, but have you consideredmaking your own?

Making ice cream yourself allows you to varythe ingredients, lower the calorie count and avoid the additives manycommercial varieties use. And if you’re as creative as Gino Guercio,you can really go to town on flavours.

The innovativeexecutive chef at Toronto’s Delta Chelsea Hotel likes to push theenvelope with all his dishes. While he acknowledges that he’sinfluenced by French cuisine, he adds with a laugh, “The French worryabout how the shallot is cut. The Italians worry about how it tastes.I’m Italian!”

Even ice cream becomes unique with this chef. “Ilike to play with ingredients and make the dish a wow!” He recentlymade maple syrup ice cream with crisp bacon bits. Or how about basilice cream? Served with a fresh fig tart, this latter was a big hit at arecent Winemaker’s Dinner. Chef Guercio kindly shared the recipe.

Tomake homemade ice cream, an electric ice cream maker is easiest, buthand churns work just as well. One friend even chills the mixture in afreezer until semi-firm, then runs it through the food processor untilit almost doubles in volume, and freezes it again.

Finally,here’s a really neat way to make ice cream using two coffee cans.You’ll need a 1-lb and a 3-lb coffee can. In the small can put your icecream mixture. Seal the lid tightly with duct tape. Place the small caninside big can and add enough ice to cover the small can. Sprinkleabout 1/2 cup of rock salt or kosher salt into the ice. Seal the largercan with duct tape. Sit in a circle on the grass and roll the can toone another. After 10 minutes, check the ice cream to see it is hardenough. If not, reseal and keep rolling!

Gino Guercio’s Sweet
Basil Ice Cream

1 litre whole milk
1 litre 35% cream
120 grams cornstarch
2 bunches fresh basil
200 grams sugar

Blendthe cornstarch and sugar with the milk in a large saucepan. Bring to aboil slowly over medium heat to thicken. Remove from heat and cool. Chop the basil and blend with the thickened mixture and cream. Place inan ice cream churn and blend. Serve with fresh fruit compote or tart.