Monday, May 31, 2010

Fresh MCC

Treasure Island had huge bunches of fresh mint a few weekends ago, so I decided to try making my favorite ice cream by steeping the mint in the milk. The end result is completely different from your usual mint flavor. It’s very green and fresh. Mint extract will give you that cold sharp feeling in your mouth, but this is gentler, if not exactly subtle. My friend Kevin said it tasted like eating catnip. Scott loves it. I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but the flavor grows on you. Just don’t mentally compare it to traditional mint when you’re eating it, but think of it as a new flavor.

1 large handful mint leaves (still on the stems)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup milk (I use 2% because it’s what I usually have around the house, but most cookbooks recommend whole)
4 egg yolks
2/3 – ¾ cup white sugar
1 cup (more or less if you like) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or any other chocolate you like

Wash and pat the mint dry. Add to the cream and milk and scald in a medium-sized pot. Remove from heat and let steep for as long as you like (I let mine steep for about 4 hours sitting out; if you let it steep longer, I’d put it in the fridge once the milk cools to room temperature). Once it is done steeping, fish out the mint and squeeze out all the liquid from it.

Whisk the egg yolks until they look very yellow and smooth. While whisking, slowly pour in the sugar. Keep whisking until the mixture is at the ribbon stage (pale yellow, flows smoothly off the whisk when you lift it up). You could also use an electric mixer.

Reheat the mint cream mixture until it is steaming. Temper the egg/sugar mixture by slowly drizzling in the hot milk while stirring the eggs. Once it is all combined, put it back on the stove and bring the mixture back to up to steaming (don’t let it boil or the eggs will curdle). When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, take it off the heat, pour into a bowl, cover with saran wrap (to keep pudding scum from forming).

When the custard is cold, churn in ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost finished churning, add in chocolate chips. Freeze. Enjoy

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