Wow, you guys. I am shocked at how long it has been since I’ve posted anything! I’m super sorry! I guess I was enjoying my summer off a little too much and time got away from me!
Scott and I went to Florida a couple of weeks ago in order to celebrate our marriage with his side of the family. We spent time on the beach, in the pool, walking around, eating tons of seafood, and generally enjoying ourselves. When we returned, we welcomed a new member to our furry family: Truman.
Yeah, he’s totally cute, right? Well, you can imagine that having a puppy around (with an injured arm) can be quite a handful. You’d be right! Not only that, but I’ve also started classes again. I love the campus in the fall, it’s so beautiful and fresh and new! I am taking quite a few classes, but I’ll do my best to maintain the blog! Bear with me.
So, here I am, weeks later, and am finally getting back to blogging. Lucky for you, this one’s about ice cream. And excellent ice cream, at that. Oh man, you’re going to love this. That is, if you love mint chip ice cream.
I never used to like mint chip. Perhaps it was the neon green color of it – it just looked so phony and it was always waaaay too sweet! As you all know, my sweet tooth is pretty small, so I generally steer clear of things that are overly sweet.
We planted some Chocolate Mint in our garden boxes and before we knew it, we had way more than we knew what to do with! It smells divine – just as you would imagine Chocolate Mint to smell – like a Peppermint Patty! So, clearly, the thing to do was make ice cream!
As some of you may know, I love love love David Lebovitz. He’s a dessert genius, and his recipes have never failed me, especially his ice cream recipes!
Because mint grows so rapidly, I would recommend planting some if you think you’re going to want to make ice cream. It’s too expensive to buy at the store and you never get enough in those tiny plastic containers. Trust me. If you like mint chip ice cream, you’ll have plenty of mint to take care of business during the summer months!
What I love about most ice creams is the ease at which they are made. You can really take your time with them, find the best ingredients, and end up with a delicious homemade treat. You’ll be able to recite with ease, each and every ingredient included in the recipe. Who wants to eat preservatives when whole milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar taste so much better??
The “chip” part of this mint chip ice cream is so easy and so perfectly delicious. All you need is some good-quality bittersweet chocolate, a double-boiler, and a little patience. I’m sure you could mix in some mini chocolate chips, but I much prefer this method. You’ll see. You will too.
As I said earlier, I love David Lebovitz’s ice cream recipes. Some of them I alter just a bit, some (most) of them I leave just as they are. This is one that I don’t mess with, aside from adding more mint, only because we have SO MUCH. So, whether you try this out on account of my little blog or his wonderful website, just try it. You won’t be sorry.
Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream
Original recipe found on David Lebovitz’s site
Makes about one quart.
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups (I probably had 2 1/2 – 3 cups) packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
5 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup cream, sugar, salt, and mint.
Once mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat and allow it to steep for at least an hour to infuse mint flavor.
After an hour, remove mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. I took David’s advice and used my hands (well-washed, of course) and squeezed the mint to extract its color and flavor. Discard the mint.
Pour remaining heavy cream into a large bowl or 4-cup measuring cup and set a fine mesh strainer over it.
Re-warm 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, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan. This is called tempering.
Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF. This took me about 25 minutes. It is important to keep stirring so the custard doesn’t burn at the bottom of the saucepan.
Immediately strain the mixture into the awaiting cream and stir. David suggests stirring the mixture over an ice bath, but honestly, I find that to be more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve cooled custard down by using that method, and also by simply placing the custard in the fridge overnight. The latter is easier and for me, has produced the same outcome.
Refrigerate mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The next day, while your mixture is churning, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.
When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.
When finished, freeze until firm.