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Chefs’ Corner: Aaron Gonzalez’s Cinnamon-Basil-Black Pepper Ice Cream

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Cinnamon-Basil-Black Pepper Ice Cream

We came to know Aaron Gonzalez when he was the chef at Pike's Place in Pipe Creek. He has now taken over the space, just off Highway 16, and rechristened it Backyard Bistro. He has teamed with Blanca Cruz, a fixture on the local dining scene for the last few years, for the venture, which combines Hill Country cuisine with Mexican favorites. One item on the menu that he has carried over from one restaurant to the other is his Cinnamon-Basil-Black Pepper Ice Cream, an irresistible combination of flavors that is quite easy to make if you have an ice cream maker. Backyard Bistro is at 167 Panther Ridge, Pipe Creek, and is open 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday. Sunday brunch is 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Closed Wednesday. The restaurant is offering a three-course prix fixe meal for $20, or $17.95 for early bird dinners. Call (830) 535-4094. Cinnamon-Basil-Black Pepper Ice Cream 6 basil leaves (minced) 3 cups heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper In a saucepan, heat the basil and cream to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add sugar and whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Finish in ice cream maker, using manufacturer's instructions. From Aaron Gonzalez, Backyard Bistro  
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