Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homemade Mint Ice Cream

After eating at Ivar's on Thursday, we finished the evening with some homemade ice cream, David Lebovitz-style.  We have scads of mint growing in a planter outside, and mint chip ice cream is a favorite in this house.  After checking out The Perfect Scoop earlier this year from the library, it was clear that we had to use the recipe from the book.

I did most of the work on Thursday morning, so that it would be chilled and the only step when we got home would be to throw it in the ice cream maker and wait.  It was a little labor-intensive, but not more so than any other ice cream, and it wasn't complicated.

My dad isn't a huge mint fan and the exchange students hated it, but my mom and I loved this ice cream!  It's rich and creamy, and the mint flavor is present but not overpowering.  I followed the recipe for Mint Chip ice cream, but in the end we just got out the chocolate chips for those who wanted some.  I think the recipes for Mint and Mint Chip are the same, but I'm including the one I followed and omitting the instructions for adding the chocolate.

The original Mint Chip recipe is here, and the recipe for Fresh Mint is here.

Mint Ice Cream

from David Lebovitz

makes about 1 quart

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch salt
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves*
5 large egg yolks

*I didn't know what kind of mint we had growing, but I did a little research and it looks like you can use whatever kind you have.  

1.  In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, salt, and mint.

2.  Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

3.  Remove the mint with a strainer, and press firmly with a spatula to extract as much flavor (and color) as possible.  Discard the mint.

4.  Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.

5.  Rewarm the infused milk.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly.  Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

6.  Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  It should be around 170 degrees F.

7.  Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, and stir over an ice bath until cool.

8.  Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Done!  We have a little left over, but thankfully the competition will be less than fierce :)

If you make ice cream, what is your favorite to make?  Have you made any weird flavors that turned out well?  I've heard olive oil ice cream is surprisingly tasty, and I'm tempted to give it a try!

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