Fresh Mint and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Chances are pretty good that you’ve had mint chocolate chip ice cream before. Chances are equally good that it was bright green and made with some chemical that smells like mint and tastes like, well, a chemical. You might have thought it tasted like mint, but after you make this ice cream you’ll know just how wrong you were. We know all this because we were in your shoes just a few short weeks ago. And frankly we probably never would have even attempted fresh mint ice cream if it weren’t for our little garden…situation.
So yeah, we had some mint to use up. Most savory recipes call for a whopping tablespoon or two, which wasn’t going to make much of a dent in our stock. I looked into making mint extract, but the reviews were very mixed. Then I found this recipe in our trusty ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop. Mr. Lebovitz never lets us down, but this recipe was above and beyond. Normally it takes us a few months to finish eating a batch of ice cream, but this one barely made it a few weeks. Real mint ice cream. It will change your life…or at least the after dinner part of your life.
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
- 5 egg yolks
- 3-6 oz dark chocolate, chopped into chips (I used 3oz of Theo 70% cacao dark chocolate, which was awesome – I probably would have used a few more ounces if I’d had it, but sadly, I only had one bar in the pantry)
- Place 1 cup of the cream along with milk, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium-high, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture is warm to the touch, add the mint leaves and stir until they are immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Place a mesh sieve over a medium sauce pan. Pour the mint-infused liquid into the sieve, and then use a wooden spoon to press on the mint leaves and squeeze out every last bit of minty goodness. Discard the leaves.
- Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Re-warm the minty mixture over medium-high, until warm to the touch. Spoon a little bit of the warmed liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Continue whisking as you add a few more spoonfuls of the warm liquid. The goal is to warm the egg yolks without scrambling them. After adding about 1/2 cup of liquid, pour the egg yolk mixture into the medium saucepan with the rest of the minty mixture.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat bottomed wooden spatula, scraping across the bottom to prevent burning. Custard is ready when it coats the wooden spatula and you can drag a finger through the coating and the liquid won’t run right back together to fill the gap.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium bowl. Place the mesh sieve over the bowl and pour the custard through it. This just makes sure there’s not little bits of scrambled egg in your ice cream!
- Stir mixture to combine, then cover and refrigerate over night.
- The next day, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Pour the chocolate chunks in at the very end of freezing.
Makes about 1 quart.