By Megan Kian
With these past few sticky and extremely hot days it’s been hard to find a way to cool down. At home in New Jersey my dad has a garden where he loves to grow a variety of different vegetables, fruits, and herbs. One of my favorite herbs that he grows is mint (I also love his basil). It is such a fragrant herb that it had me feeling refreshed with just the smell! Mint was originally used as an air freshener to rid rooms of unpleasant smells. It is a great source of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, and has a long nutritional history for its use in aiding digestion. In cooking, it is not as common to see mint used in main dishes, but it can be used as an accent in sweets. I decided to use the mint from my dad’s garden to make mint chocolate chip ice cream! Here is the recipe that I used from David Lebovitz:
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
- 5 large egg yolks
- Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
You’ll also need an ice cream maker to make this delicious ice cream!
- 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.
- Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
- Rewarm the infused milk. 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.
- 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.
- Add in as many chocolate chips as you like!
- When finished, cover and freeze until firm.
How do you like to use mint?