04 April 2013

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Last weekend at the farmers' market, there was proof of a devious mind. Someone had placed the bundles of mint directly by their register. How could I resist buying some? It was so fragrant and wonderful.

At first, I thought I might use it in a sauce for the lamb we had for Easter dinner, but that didn't happen. Thus comes the second inevitability concerning this bundle of mint: I had to make ice cream. Obviously.

As a trusted source of many frozen desserts, I turned to David Lebovitz's website for a recipe. Needless to say, he had one. I'm about half-way through steeping the leaves right now, but I can't imagine anything going awry. (P.S. Nothing did go awry--it's delicious, though yes, it is more herbal than the store bought mint.) So here it is.

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop via David Lebovitz
makes 1 quart


1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
5 ounces chocolate

1. In a pot, warm the milk, 1 cup of cream, sugar, salt and mint leaves over medium heat until steaming

2. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour

3. Strain the leaves out of the cream and milk, and press out as much liquid from the leaves as possible (try to avoid excessive bruising as cell damage increases the herbaceous flavor and doesn't extract extra menthol)

4. Return the infused liquid back into the pot and rewarm

5. While the infusion is warming, whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl

6. Add a bit of the warmed infusion into the yolks a drizzle at a time, continuing to whisk

7. Once the yolks are warmed, drizzle into the pot of infusion, stirring as you do

8. Stir this custard mixture until it becomes thick enough to coat the spatula, just before it gets steamy (steam point tends to be around 180°F, yolk set point is 177°F)

8b. Optional: Strain the custard base if you think you have any clumps

9. Add the rest of the cream and cool--you can do this over an ice bath--then refrigerate several hours or overnight

10. Churn according to the directions on your ice cream maker

11. While that's churning, melt the chocolate (in a double boiler or the microwave)

12. Toward the end of the churning or as you are putting the ice cream in a container, drizzle the chocolate over the ice cream and stir (or let be churned) a little at a time

13. Freeze until firm