I have never been a huge fan of ice cream, until I tasted fresh homemade ice cream made from scratch with fresh ingredients. It is so insanely delicious and it has so much more flavor than the store-bought stuff. I had been talking about buying the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer for some time now and finally got around to it last week. I knew before I even bought the attachment what flavor my first batch was gonna be. Mint Chocolate Chunk! We have so much mint growing wild in our yard that I couldn’t wait to snip some off and bring it in to make fresh ice cream. If you can’t get your hands on fresh mint you can use mint extract, but there is no comparing to the fresh mint. So much so that I added chopped fresh mint back in at the end, since I love the little bits of flavor.
Making ice cream from scratch, cooking down and making the custard first definitely is a lot of work, but it is absolutely worth it and is so gratifying in the end. The only thing I wished is that I could have found some place locally to buy fresh milk and cream, instead I bought organic milk and cream from the grocery store. I have searched high and low to find somewhere locally to buy dairy (preferably pasture-fed), but with no results yet, so if you know of a place in the Western New York area, please share.
This ice cream really is to die for. So rich, a small scoop is all you need. I cannot wait to experiment with other flavors.
Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
yields 1 quart
adapted from Simply Recipes
3 cups of fresh mint leaves (not stems), rinsed, drained, packed
extra fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cup organic whole milk
2 cups organic heavy cream (divided, 1 cup and 1 cup)
2/3 cup organic pure cane sugar
A pinch of salt
6 egg yolks (we prefer brown eggs from local, organic, free-range chickens)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped fine, keep in the freezer until used
1. Put the mint leaves in a heavy saucepan with the 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of the cream. Heat until just steaming (do not let boil), remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Reheat the mixture until steaming, remove from heat and let stand for 15 more minutes.
2.While the mint is infusing in step 1, prepare the remaining cream over an ice bath. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set in ice water (with lots of ice) over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.
3. Strain the milk cream mixture into a separate bowl, pressing against the mint leaves with a rubber spatula in the sieve to get the most liquid out of them. Return the milk cream mixture to the saucepan. Add sugar and salt to the mixture. Heat until just steaming again, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm mixture, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
5. Return the saucepan to the stove, stirring the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.
6. Pour the custard through the strainer (from step 2) and stir into the cold cream to stop the cooking, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
7. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least a couple of hours) or stir the mixture in the bowl placed over the ice bath until thoroughly chilled (20 minutes or so). Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Once the ice cream has been made in the ice cream maker it should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate and chopped fresh mint. Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.