when we moved in to our house last spring i was really excited to see the huge patches of spearmint and peppermint in our yard. as the summer went on, the mint grew and grew and grew and i couldn't think of anything good to make with it - except mojitos. i'm not a fan of mint tea, so that was out. and a year ago, i was still in wedding mode, so spending a friday evening steeping mint leaves in hot milk wasn't high on my list of priorities.
so this spring, when the mint started taking over again, i couldn't wait for it to be hot enough to make one of my favorite ice creams: mint chip. and i knew i wanted to make it from scratch - no mint extract here.
i found a couple different recipes that all used the same technique - steep the leaves in hot milk & sugar for about an hour before adding the egg yolks, cooking, and eventually churning in the ice cream maker. the technique seemed simple enough. it was the chocolate and the mint i was afraid of.
see, i don't like big chunks of chocolate in my ice cream. chocolate chips - of any size - were out. i didn't want to spend the time to shave a bar of chocolate and the flecks would actually be too small for my liking. i'm really glad i stumbled on david lebovitz's chocolate method. it was genius: perfectly simple and the perfect amount of chocolate.
now on to the mint. which do i use? peppermint or spearmint or both? i found recipes of all types online - some recommended spearmint only, others recommended peppermint and to avoid spearmint, and a third set didn't say one way or the other. i decided this time to try spearmint with a plan to make a peppermint batch later in the summer for comparison sake.
before (L) and after (R) steeping the mint for an hour
now that i had my mint picked out and chocolate technique down, i needed a recipe. i liked his chocolate technique so much and everyone in the blogosphere raves about his ice cream, so i gave david lebovitz's a spin. perfection.
my steeped milk was a natural light green
the big difference between homemade mint ice cream and store bought is obviously the flavor. store bought mint is so strong and sweet. homemade mint is definitely minty, but it's got a nice herbal flavor to it too. and not too sweet. surprisingly, i like it better than the stuff from the store.
mint chocolate ice cream
find the recipe from david lebovitz