So, apparently, July is national ice cream month. An entire month to celebrate one of my favorite things, and it has taken me 27 DAYS to get this post together. Never fear – we’ve been eating ice cream all month long – it’s just been insanely busy in our house, so I am just now getting around to sharing this with everyone.
I have been planning this one for months. Mint and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations, right behind chocolate and peanut butter, and I was getting tired of eating plain old vanilla ice cream. I stocked up on extra Thin Mints this spring and squirreled them away until my mint started growing like a weed. Once that happened, I just needed to find a good base recipe to work with. Thankfully David Lebovitz came through for me. (No surprise there, right? The man is kind of known for desserts.)
I did a little tweaking based on what I had on hand. I used one ounce of fresh mint, since that was all I harvested from my plant. I ended up using four egg yolks, instead of five, because that was what was in the fridge. (Clearly, I planned well for this one.) And, obviously, I used a Thin Mints instead of melted chocolate or chocolate chips. It ended up being everything I had hoped for – fresh, minty custard with Thin Mints crumbled in all of the right places. Totally worth spending the $3.50 on an extra box of Thin Mints. :D
Thin Mint Ice Cream
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 ounce fresh mint leaves (about a packed cup)
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
4 egg yolks
1 sleeve of Thin Mint cookies, coarsely chopped (about 16 cookies, depending on whether or not you’ve snacked on one or two while you were chopping them)
In a medium saucepan, combine the half and half, 1 cup of cream, sugar, salt and mint. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is steaming and the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and let it stand, covered, for about an hour.
After the mint flavor has steeped into the milk, remove the mint leaves with a strainer. Squeeze the mint leaves over the milk, extracting as much flavor (and color) as possible. Discard the mint leaves.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are smooth. Rewarm the milk mixture over medium heat. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking them constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the mixture from heat.
Pour the remaining cup of cream into a large bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it is cold (at least two hours, preferably overnight).
Freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream has finished churning, mix the chopped cookie pieces into the ice cream before storing in a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Click here for a printable version.