Today I opened my fridge to check on some dates of foods I knew were probably on the brink. The heavy cream I’d bought as an ingredient for last weekend’s baked french toast was dated today! The mint in there was starting to turn on the edges. And, to top it off, I’m heading out of town for two days, so I couldn’t let things ride until tomorrow. I knew exactly what to make: mint chip ice cream!
Usually, I make frozen yogurt or frozen ice milk or lower-fat ice cream with lower cream to milk ratios, but this time I needed to use up that heavy cream, so it would be full-on for-real ice cream. Now, I don’t do the eggs in my ice cream. I just don’t have the patience or the time to cook things and wait for them to cool and then make the ice cream. Nope. When I choose to make ice cream, I pretty much decide to make it and want it done right away. Eggs don’t let you do that. So, that’s it; I just don’t do eggs in my ice cream.
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. chocolate mint leaves, torn from the stem and left whole (these are a peppermint, but you can use any mint you like)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2.5 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips)
What to do:
In a small saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and mint leaves over medium-high. Stir frequently. Do not let the mixture boil. When warm enough to fully dissolve the sugar, stir and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 15-30 minutes.
Strain mixture into a large bowl. With clean hands, squeeze out the mint leaves to extract all of the flavor from them. If not yet cooled, place the mixture in the refrigerator briefly. When cool, add the cream. Whisk lightly to combine.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker (following the instructions that come with your machine). Mine is 20 minutes in the machine.
While the the ice cream is freezing in the machine, chop the chocolate into small pieces.
When the ice cream is done, it is very soft. Transfer it to a freezer-safe bowl and stir in the chocolate bits. Sneak a quick taste and then put the rest in the freezer to harden.
Mint chip is one of my all-time favorite flavors of ice cream. This recipe is so creamy and so refreshing!
While you can certainly use an extract for the mint, I’d really encourage using the mint leaves – they really give this some lovely fresh flavor.