Before I get to this amazing recipe, I wanted to do a little housekeeping. As many of you already know, Google Reader is going away next week. So, I just wanted to share a quick reminder with you all that if you currently use Google Reader to follow my blog, please make the switch to another reader! Personally, for all the blogs I follow, I made the switch to Bloglovin' a month or two ago, and it's been great! I recommend it highly. I've also heard that Feedly is quite good. And of course, you can always subscribe by email to my blog so that you receive an email with each new post! You can do that by entering your email address in the box on the right side of the page.
Okay, back to the recipe.
It's hot in Boston. I'm talkin' reeeeally hot. We've had a stretch of weather in the 90's (and of course, the humidity to go along with it), and I'm pretty sure that means summer is here to stay. And I have no problem with that. The only thing I have a problem with is that this ice cream did not enter my life earlier than it did. But at the same time, I am thankful that this ice cream is now in my life. Aaaand, I think it needs to be in your life too. ;)
As I've mentioned, we have a CSA that provides us with a ton of fresh, local, organic veggies every week from June through October. Last week, we received a bunch of fresh mint. More mint than I knew what to do with (one can only drink so many mojitos). So Mike came up with the brilliant idea and suggested I make mint chocolate ice cream! Done and done. Mike is full of great ideas when it comes to food - one of the many reasons I married the guy. :)
This recipe is from an ice cream cookbook I have: A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti. When flipping through the book to hopefully find a mint ice cream recipe, I was so happy to come across her mint chip ice cream. It called for 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves. Perfect! So I set out to complete my mission.
The ice cream is more involved than other ice creams I've made. I had yet to tackle an ice cream that involves eggs until this one. For some reason, recipes for ice cream with eggs have scared me in the past. Now that I've successfully made an ice cream with eggs, I will no longer steer away from them in the future. Although it was slightly involved with several steps, none of them were difficult. And even if they were, if this ice cream is what the end result is, it's so worth any level of difficulty (well, within reason - you know what I'm saying!). The original recipe from the book is here below. Afterward, I'll share with you the few small changes I made.
-2 and 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
-3/4 cup milk
-3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
-1 cup sugar
-4 large egg yolks
-1/8 tsp. salt
-8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the cream, milk, mint, and 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and steep the mint in the cream for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until it reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coats the spatula. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, discarding the mint. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
In a food processor, using on-off pulses, grind the chocolate into small pieces. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the freezer. Churn the ice cream base in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions (I churned mine for about 15 minutes). Place the ice cream in the bowl with the chocolate and fold the two together. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours or more.
Now that I've shared the original recipe, I just wanted to share a few things I changed. The recipe calls for 2 and 1/4 cups of cream; I only used 2 cups since I only bought a 16 oz. container. For the milk, I used whole milk (I'd highly recommend whole or 2%), and I upped the amount of milk from 3/4 cup to 1 cup, to make up for the 1/4 cup of cream I didn't add. Also, I used closer to 1 full cup of fresh mint leaves, not the 3/4 cup called for in the recipe (I wanted to be sure it was super minty!). And lastly, I chopped Lindt chocolate (85% bittersweet) to add in. I added 1 cup of the chopped chocolate, but next time, I'd actually decrease the amount to 2/3 or 3/4 cup. The 1 cup was actually a little too much. That's my only "complaint" about this ice cream - that it had too many chocolate chunks. I don't want to have to chew that much when I'm eating ice cream. :)
But otherwise, it was faaantastic! Like, "we've had some every night since I made it" good.
Whiskey, our cat, was also interested in some ice cream...
One of the things we love the most about this ice cream is how much it does not taste like any other mint chocolate ice cream we've had before. The fresh mint makes such a difference!! It's hard to describe exactly, but it's just so real and fresh. I don't know if I can go back to store-bought...
Photographing ice cream on a 93 degree day in a condo without air conditioning makes for some melty ice cream photos... Hope you don't mind. :)
I love how the color of this ice cream isn't actually what you typically think of when you think of mint chocolate ice cream. The color of the towel in these photos is more what I think of! Granted, the towel color is a more bold of a mint color than typical mint ice cream, but you know what I'm saying.
I'm going to be sad when we finish this batch off!
Definitely need to make this again... And again. And again.
Hope everyone's staying cool!