Friends, I have a very sad confession to make. I have had an ice cream maker sitting, unused, in its original box, for one and a half long years. I received it as a gift for Christmas in 2010. I had good intentions of using it immediately. I picked out recipes. I formulated ice cream-making plans. And it never happened.
You see, whenever I followed through on those good intentions, and got all geared up to make ice cream, I’d open the box and realize (for the bazillionth time) that the canister needed to be frozen for at least 8 hours prior to using it. And I’m embarrassed to report that instead of taking it out of the box and sticking in the freezer to avoid the same disappointment the next time around, I just closed it right back up again. It is important to note that there was one other very labor intensive step required…washing the canister. Sometimes I confuse even myself.
Thankfully, I righted all of these wrongs last weekend when I did the smart thing and stuck that dang canister into the freezer, and the next day went out and picked up my ice cream making supplies. And then I got straight to makin’ ice cream!
The combination of mint and chocolate has been one of my favorites for a long time, so I immediately began searching for a mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe. Cool, minty ice cream chock full of dark chocolate chunks. And let me tell you…there is nothing quite like a
humongous bowl of cold, minty ice cream on a hot summer evening to help cool a person down. Heat wave is an understatement. Let’s just say there’s been much spread eagle, underwear only, fan blasting directly at the bed insomnia sleeping going on lately. Thank goodness for ice cream.
PS. July is National Ice Cream month! Don’t be surprised if you see another ice cream recipe (or two) posted here in the next few weeks. I’ve spotted a recipe for peanut butter ice cream…trouble!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (adapted from The Kitchn)
Makes about two quarts.
3 cups fresh mint leaves
4 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 egg yolks
6 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped
Tear the mint leaves off of their stems and put in a bowl. Pound with a pestle or large spoon just until they are bruised and start to give off their delicious minty fragrance.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the half and half, sugar, and salt. Heat until the mixture just begins to steam, the remove from heat, add the mint leaves, and cover. Steep for about two hours. Once the mixture has steeped, strain out the mint leaves and bring the mixture to just under a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl and add a cup of the cream to temper the eggs. Whisk it all back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until the custard reaches 170º to 174ºF (this only took a couple of minutes for me). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
We’re ready to make ice cream! First, chop the chocolate into chunks and set aside. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to directions, adding the chocolate about halfway through. Transfer ice cream to a container and cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap is touching the surface of the ice cream (this will prevent ice crystals from forming). Freeze for at least four hours before serving. Enjoy!