We have lots of mint growing in our garden, and I love mint ice cream (especially when combined with chocolate). So why not make mint ice cream from scratch? Mint ice cream is very refreshing and perfect for the summer. For the technique I used REMCooks’ recipe with some changes. Richard’s technique to extract the mint flavor from the fresh mint leaves works very well — thanks Richard! Otherwise it is mostly a standard custard ice cream recipe. Adding chocolate chips is optional, but recommended.
You will need lots of fresh mint for this recipe, so growing it in your garden is recommended. 50 grams (1.8 oz) does not sound like a lot, but it is about 3 cups of leaves! Mint grows like a weed, so make sure to plant it in a space that is allowed to be occupied completely by mint.
For about 500 ml (2 cups) of mint ice cream
50 grams fresh mint leaves (about 3 cups)
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream (about 35% fat content)
4 egg yolks
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp creme de menthe
optional: 100 grams (1/2 cup) chocolate chips
Start by washing the mint leaves and drying them using a salad spinner.
Put the mint in a saucepan and add the milk.
Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Allow the mint leaves to steep in the hot milk for 10 minutes.
Transfer the milk and mint to the blender.
Pour the mixture into a foodmill fitted with the fine sieve.
Extract the mint-infused milk using the foodmill, leaving behind the leaves.
The mint-infused milk will have a somewhat brownish green color. Don’t worry, it will look better later on.
Combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl.
Whisk until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the mint-infused milk to the egg yolks and sugar (assuming that it in the meantime it has cooled off below 60ºC/140ºF so it won’t cook the egg yolks).
Transfer this mixture to the saucepan.
Heat this mixture over medium heat, stirring well, until it reaches 85ºC/185ºF. This is easiest using a digital thermometer, but you could also cook the custard until it coats the back of a spoon.
Whisk to mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for some hours until cooled completely.
Churn the mint custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When the custard has turned into ice cream, add the chocolate chips (optional).
The ice cream maker should take care of distributing the chocolate chips. If not, you may need to stir with a spoon.
Add the creme de menthe. This has a double purpose: it boosts the mint flavor, and it helps the ice cream to stay slightly soft.
Churn for about 5 minutes longer after adding the chocolate chips and creme de menthe, then transfer the mint ice cream to a plastic container and freeze for at least some hours to allow it to firm up.
Garnish the ice cream with a mint leaf.
Mint ice cream with chocolate chips pairs best with a sweet icewine. Some icewines are only mildly sweet and have more of a mineral character, and are not sweet enough for this dessert. But with a sweet icewine this is outstanding.
Pasta with white asparagus and goat cheese is a dish I invented myself that is very nice with a glass of good Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Since both the asparagus and the cheese go well with this wine, it was not a surprise that all three went together like a charm.
12 thoughts on “Homemade Mint Ice Cream”
Delicious. Perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Mint chocolate chip ice-cream is also the favorite of The Swedish Pop Band. 🙂 The creme de menthe sounds so sophisticated, and steeping herbs into milk to infuse flavor is very smart. The color is so pretty, too.
Nicely done, Stefan, and thanks for the mention. This is truly one of my very favorite ice creams. We have had such a mild summer this year I haven’t made any ice cream yet. That is really bizarre given it’s August. 😮
I’m delighted with this recipe! I have tons of mint in my garden, too, and most of it goes to waste. Mint ice cream is exciting to me. 🙂
Very nice Stefan. A great use of all that mint. Mine is starting to pot-hop. Springing up amongst the other herbs.
Adding chocolate chips is hardly optional, at least around here, Stefan. This sounds like a great ice cream and so refreshing this time of year. Love the color, too. It proves it’s the real deal.
I am going to prepare this too! Before I start, I would preciate your advice on the following: which mint do you use? Any reason why you dry the mint and use vanilla extract in stead of beans? And why 85 Celcius, I always thought it was about a certain thickness, not temperature?
There are different varieties of mint in my garden. Most of it is plants originally bought in the supermarket.
I dry the leaves because any water that clings to it would otherwise end up in the ice cream, diluting the flavor or making it less smooth.
I used vanilla extract (the real stuff, not the chemical fake stuff) because it is easier and I didn’t want the black seeds in the ice cream.
It is a certain thickness, which happens to be reached at that temperature because that is when the proteins in the milk change shape. By using the thermometer I can use higher heat in the beginning and thus work more quickly.
Hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out!
PS I am curious about your adventures in Spain and will try to call you next week.
Thanks Stefan! I actually don’t think the drying is worth effort so let’s see.
Basque country was better than ever! I am on traveling through Mexico until 1 September and will give you a call then. A feast for the senses it is here with a lot of completely unknown tastes outside this area.
Tried it twice and it is a stunner! Second time I left the mint in the milk overnight but no difference. 8 people tasted the ice creams and the opinion on the chocolate is varied: too much/little chocolate, too edgy, too minty/ brilliant (the second time I used mint infused chocolate, frozen and then cut in very small but admittedly sometimes edgy pieces, which gives another powerful kick). I’m considering serving it with a chocolate sauce (remember Dame Blanche?). Everyone can control the cream/chocolate ratio and it is smooth, just as the ice cream.
I wonder what happens if one uses the whole plant in stead of just the leaves, as it would save a lot of time picking the leaves.
So now we know what to do with the mint and the sage (see Stephan’s post earlier this week). I als grow stevia for which I cannot find recipes, Stephan maybe you can advice? It should be great as substitute for sugar, perhaps even in this mint ice cream.