Garden Mint Ice Cream

Cool Mint for Summer Heat: Fresh Ice Cream
 

Mint ice cream is rarely eaten without chips of chocolate and a squeeze of green food dye. It’s really too bad, because the flavor of fresh mint leaves steeped in ice cream is light, fresh and a far cry from the bracing green scoops. The flavor in conventional mint ice creams has little to do with the mint leaf and more to do with the menthol compounds that make peppermint flavoring.

If you have fresh peppermint leaves, lucky you! Use them in this recipe and omit the peppermint extract. However, for most of us there is no peppermint patch out the back door, and we must employ both the fresh spearmint leaves (a.k.a. standard grocery-store mint), and a touch of peppermint extract. (If you can find peppermint oil, use that instead! It’s cleaner flavored than the extract, which often combines peppermint oil and alcohol.)

I think a white mint ice cream is quite lovely, but if mint ice cream doesn’t taste like mint to you unless it’s green, you have options.

Green food coloring is obvious. Sam Mason at Oddfellows Ice Cream in Brooklyn blends a portion of his mint ice cream base with fresh mint leaves moments before the ice cream is churned, capturing the chlorophyll from the green leaves before it oxidizes. (If you do this, be sure not to run die blender for more than a few seconds, or you may turn the cream to butter.)

By | August 01, 2017

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup organic, light corn syrup
  • 1 ounce (about 1 handful) fresh mint, stems and leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint oil or extract
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk

Instructions

In a small bowl, mix the milk powder and the sugar.In a small bowl, mix the milk powder and the sugar.

Place the cream, milk and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally to discourage the milk from scorching, until it comes to a full rolling boil.

Whisk the milk powder mixture into the pot. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for 2 minutes, whisking to prevent scorching.

Mix tapioca with cold milk, then whisk into the ice cream base after it is finished cooking.

Infuse the mint Remove the pot from the heat Stir in the fresh mint, and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve into a shallow metal or glass bowl, discarding the mint. Working quickly, fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way with very icy ice water. Nest the hot bowl into this ice bath, stirring occasionally until it cools down.

When the base is cool to the touch (50° or below), stir in the peppermint oil.

Transfer the ice cream base to the refrigerator to cure for 4 hours, or preferably overnight. (This step is optional, but the texture will be much improved with it.)

Place the base into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is ready when it thickens into the texture of soft-serve ice cream and holds its shape, typically 20 to 30 minutes.

To freeze your ice cream in the American hard-pack style, immediately transfer it to a container with an airtight lid. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming, cover, and store it in your freezer until it hardens completely, between 4 and 12 hours. Or, feel free to enjoy your ice cream immediately; the texture will be similar to soft-serve.

Place the cream, milk and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally to discourage the milk from scorching, until it comes to a full rolling boil.

Whisk the milk powder mixture into the pot. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for 2 minutes, whisking to prevent scorching.

Mix tapioca with cold milk, then whisk into the ice cream base after it is finished cooking.

Infuse the mint Remove the pot from the heat Stir in the fresh mint, and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve into a shallow metal or glass bowl, discarding the mint. Working quickly, fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way with very icy ice water. Nest the hot bowl into this ice bath, stirring occasionally until it cools down.

When the base is cool to the touch (50° or below), stir in the peppermint oil.

Transfer the ice cream base to the refrigerator to cure for 4 hours, or preferably overnight. (This step is optional, but the texture will be much improved with it.)

Place the base into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is ready when it thickens into the texture of soft-serve ice cream and holds its shape, typically 20 to 30 minutes.

To freeze your ice cream in the American hard-pack style, immediately transfer it to a container with an airtight lid. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming, cover, and store it in your freezer until it hardens completely, between 4 and 12 hours. Or, feel free to enjoy your ice cream immediately; the texture will be similar to soft-serve.

OPTIONS FOR TEXTURE AGENTS (in place of tapioca with milk)

For best texture:

1 teaspoon commercial stabilizer

Mix with the sugar before it is added to the dairy:

For least icy:

¼ teaspoon Guar or xanthan gum

Whirl in a blender with the ice cream base after it is chilled in the ice bath.

Most accessible:

Cornstarch

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons of cold milk

Mix cornstarch with milk then whisk into the simmering ice cream base, then cook for 1 minute.

Makes just over 1 quart of ice-cream

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup organic, light corn syrup
  • 1 ounce (about 1 handful) fresh mint, stems and leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint oil or extract
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk

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