Recipe: Try this delicious Pink Grapefruit and Basil Ice Cream »

from How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry

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<i>How to Eat a Peach</i> by Diana Henry

How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry [©Octopus Publishing Group ]

Pink grapefruit and basil ice cream from <i>How to Eat a Peach</i> by Diana Henry


In How to Eat a Peach, Diana Henry takes you on a culinary journey through the seasons and across the world through menus, stories and places.

She started a menu notebook when she was 16 and wrote up all the meals she wanted to cook. Pulling together a menu remains her favourite part of cooking as it can create very different moods and take you to places you've never been. 

How to Eat a Peach is organsed into two sections Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter and contain a series of menus that relate to a place Henry has visited or flavours she could never forget.

This recipe is sure to make a refreshing summer dessert.

Pink Grapefruit and Basil Ice Cream

Diana Henry writes:

This is possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever made!

I’d been doing a good lemon and basil ice for years… then it struck me that the bitterness of grapefruit might also be good with the almost cloying sweetness of basil. I was right.

The colour will vary depending on the juice of your grapefruit, sometimes it is very pale pink, sometimes almost coral-coloured. Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it, to allow it to soften a little.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 pink grapefruit
  • 50g (1¾ oz) granulated sugar
  • 300ml (½ pint) whole milk
  • 35 basil leaves
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 75g (2¾ oz) caster sugar
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice


Put the grapefruit zest and granulated sugar into a mortar and pound with the pestle.

Heat the milk with the pounded zest mixture until it reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and tear in the basil leaves roughly. Cover and set aside to infuse for a couple of hours.

Using electric beaters, beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale and thick. Strain the flavoured milk into a jug, using the back of a spoon to press out all the flavour from the basil and the grapefruit zest.

Stir this into the egg mixture and put it into a clean, heavy-based pan. Over a low heat, stirring all the time, heat the custard until it thickens slightly. It needs to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (you should be able to run your finger through it and leave a channel). Be really careful, as the eggs will scramble if it gets too hot.

Immediately pour it into a cool bowl (I set the bowl in a sink full of water and ice cubes, to help stop the cooking immediately). Leave the custard to get to room temperature, stirring from time to time as it cools.

Whip the cream until it holds its shape, being careful not to take it too far. Fold into the custard, then stir in the grapefruit juice and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste before adding any more lemon juice: it should enhance the grapefruit flavour, not overwhelm it.

Churn in an ice cream machine, or transfer to a shallow container and put in the freezer. If you’re using the manual method, take the ice cream out and churn it – either using electric beaters or by putting the mixture in a food processor – 3 times during the freezing process. Do this first after about 1 hour, when the mixture is setting round the edges, then at 2-hour intervals.

Cover with a lid, or with cling film or greaseproof paper, between each churning, and when you store it.

Serve with plain biscuits, or on its own. It doesn’t need anything else.

This recipe from How To Eat a Peach by Diana Henry is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Read our review of How To Eat a Peach »

See the press release here » 

How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry is published by Octopus Publishing (Great Britain, Apr 2018; Hb; 256pp; RRP A$39.99) and distributed in Australia by Hatchette. It is available at good bookshops and can be purchased online via »


  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

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October 18th, 2018
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