We scream for Mint Chip Ice Cream

While having a CSA does encourage me to eat healthier, it also tends to encourage me to turn things into ice cream.  Case in point – mint chocolate chip ice cream!  Like Michelann, I have a hard time using my mint.  I find recipes that use a few sprigs, teaspoons, or tablespoons, but then the rest of the bunch goes to waste.  But not when you’re churning ice cream.  This recipe was handed down from my friend, Heather, and I’ve made it several times, simplifying it along the way.  It’s an easy thing to make and toss in the deep freeze for consumption at a later date.  While the ice cream will turn green, it will not be the shocking green that commercially produced ice cream tends to be.  That’s because this isn’t made with green #45 or whatever, it’s green from the real life mint that is used to make it.  Fancy that!  It’s also really rich, so those two little scoops are more than sufficient as a serving along side some sliced strawberries.

3 c fresh mint – I don’t measure, I just use however much I get in my CSA box

1 c milk

2 c heavy cream, divided

2/3 c sugar

pinch salt

6 egg yolks

6 oz chocolate, chopped fine

Put mint, 1 c milk, 1 c cream in a saucepan.  Heat to steaming, not boiling.  Remove from heat, let stand covered for 30 minutes.  Repeat.  Strain into a bowl to remove all the mint.  Return cream to the pan, add the sugar and salt.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Temper egg yolks into the cream mixture.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly until the ice cream base passes the wooden spoon test.  The “wooden spoon test” is a classic pastry kitchen test by which you dip a wooden spoon into the pan and the cream mixture should be thick enough cling to the spoon, coating it enough that if you run your finger across the back of the spoon the line stays unchanged.  When I say stirring constantly, I mean it.  Don’t let the dog out, don’t answer the phone, don’t attend to your screaming child.  Ice cream base (basically Crème anglaise for you fancy types) has about a 10 second jump from being perfectly tempered and creamy to becoming scrambled eggs floating in curdled cream.  Strain the cooked mixture into a bowl.  Add the remaining 1 c cream.  Chill ice cream base for a few hours or overnight.  Churn the base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  In the last 30 seconds of churning add the chopped chocolate.  Transfer your churned ice cream to a freezer safe storage container and freeze at least a few hours before eating.

Here’s a little trick with mint chip ice cream.  You don’t have to use this recipe!  If you have any sort of frozen dessert recipe you like to make go ahead and use that recipe.  Just put the milk or cream through the mint heating and cooling process as is described in the first step.  Then follow the remainder of the recipe as you normally would.  This would work with any semifreddo, ice cream, or cream based frozen treats!

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