1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar + 1 pinch of salt to sprinkle over tomatoes while roasting
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups of low-fat Organic milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups half and half
2/3 – 1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
¼ cup Low-fat ricotta cheese – room temperature
1 Tbsp Basil seeds (optional)
To Garnish:Sliced cherry tomatoes
Balsamic syrup (* see my recipe for balsamic dressing*)
Some basil seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut cherry/grape tomatoes in half and toss them with balsamic vinegar. Arrange cut cherry tomatoes, cut side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp) and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. While your tomatoes are roasting in oven, side by side you can prepare for the ice cream base.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup milk and keep it aside.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together remaining milk, half and half, sugar, and salt. Split Vanilla bean in half and add it to milk mixture. Add basil leaves and bring it to boil over medium heat. Basil will add flavor and change a color only a bit.
When it comes to boil, cook it for 5 more minutes and then add cornstarch mixture while stirring continuously
Bring it to boil one more time and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add ¼ cup of ricotta cheese to the mixture and mix well. Remove from heat and let it cool down.
While it is cooling down, purée those roasted cherry tomatoes in your blender. When milk mixture is almost at room temperature, strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Use back of your spoon to extract all the juices before discarding basil n vanilla. Now it is time to sieve pureed tomatoes. Just leave out seeds and skin of tomatoes. So strain it well. I like the texture of tomato skin and seeds in my ice cream so I added a Tbsp of it before discarding it. So it is completely optional, if you want it add it.
Cover with cling film directly on the surface of milk mixture and refrigerate at least 2 hours to chill. I did it over night.
Once it is chilled, transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to your manufacturer’s instructions. When you start churning your ice cream, soak basil seeds in to ¼ cup of warm water. This will help seeds to plump up a bit. Strain the water and add the plumped basil seeds during the last-minute of churning.
When done, transfer ice cream to a freezer safe storage container and freeze until set.
It is ready to serve. Garnish with some sliced cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and sprinkle with basil seeds. and enjoy!