Fresh Mint Ice Cream

The first ice cream cookbook I purchased was David Leibovitz's The Perfect Scoop and in the summer it is one of my go-to cookbooks to make frozen treats. The recipe for black pepper ice cream remains a component of one of my favorite desserts.


I discovered last summer than there was one great deal to be had at Whole Foods - it was fresh mint. It came PACKED in a quart-size plastic container and it was only $2. I couldn't pass up this deal so, as I often do, I purchased the mint and then looked for a recipe. The Perfect Scoop to the rescue.


As you know I'm terribly lazy and if I can avoid the process of making and cooling a custard then I absolutely will. This recipe is worth the effort. The ice cream is unlike any store-bought mint ice cream. The infusion of mint is light and refreshing and tastes exactly how it smells. You can add chocolate to make a mint chocolate chip ice cream but I prefer it in its simple form.

The color of the custard will be a pale green, nothing like artificially-dyed, store-bought mint ice cream.

Mint is infused into a milk, cream, sugar
mixture before making the custard

This year I found bunches of mint at the farmer's market and immediately knew I had to make this ice cream. If you find mint in your local market, or if you have it growing out of control in your garden, please make this ice cream. You will be so happy you did.


Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Modified slightly from David Leibovitz

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks*

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, salt, and mint.

Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint. Gently rewarm the infused milk.

Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF.

Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.

Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


*Save the egg whites to make pavlova

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