Mint Chip Ice Cream

Mint chip is hands-down one of our favourite ice cream flavours. An added perk of this recipe is that it calls for fresh mint, which is basically a weed so it is easily available in our backyard all summer long!

Here, we adapt a recipe for Jeni’s Ice Cream base (published in Saveur). Don’t like mint chip? Not to worry, there are lots of possible variations on this base! Skip to the end for a little more on this.

Ingredients:

  • 430g (1-3/4 cup) milk
  • 70g (1/4 cup) milk
  • 12g (4 tsp) cornstarch
  • 292g (1-1/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 150g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 35g (2 Tbsp) light corn syrup
  • 45g (3 Tbsp) cream cheese, softened
  • 7g fresh mint leaves
  • 40g (1/4 cup) chopped dark chocolate

Tools Required:

  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Small pot & stove
  • Ice cream maker
  • Blender, or immersion blender (optional, but preferred)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk 70g milk and cornstarch until combined to create a slurry, set aside.
  2. Blend remaining milk and mint leaves in a blender or with an immersion blender. If you don’t have a blender, mince mint finely and add to milk. (Don’t want mint leaves in your ice cream? See note below.)
  3. Add milk with mint, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a small pot. Bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat.
  4. In the meantime, add cream cheese to a large bowl (big enough to fit all the other ingredients). Soften with the back of a spoon and set aside.
  5. Once the milk and cream mixture has come to a bowl, add the cornstarch slurry (make sure to get any bits that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl!).
  6. Return the mixture to a boil and continue cooking until slightly thickened (a couple of minutes).
  7. Remove from heat and carefully pour liquid over cream cheese, a little at a time, mixing to incorporate.
  8. Once fully combined let cool and then place in the fridge and rest overnight.
  9. The next day, you can run this mixture through your ice cream maker (per manufacturer’s directions), and finish with the addition of chocolate chips. We suggest re-mixing with an immersion blender just before spinning to ensure that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  10. Freeze overnight (or at least for a few hours, until firm enough to scoop), and enjoy!

Variations:

  • Vanilla bean: instead of mint leaves, use one vanilla bean and skip Step 2. Cut bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a knife. Add the seeds to the milk and cream mixture (Step 3) and proceed with the recipe.
  • Fruit: again, skip Step 2. Fresh and frozen fruit doesn’t work too well because of the added water content, so we recommend using jam (or making your own mixture by cooking the water out of fresh fruit). This is best saved to Step 9 and added as an inclusion (or swirled into a fully spun ice cream) to get a good separation of fruity bits in the end product.
  • Cookie crumb: This is a great way to get rid of extra cookies! Again, skip Step 2. Chop or blend about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cookies and add in as inclusions at the end of the ice cream cycle.

FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:

I don’t have an ice cream maker – can I still make ice cream at home? Yes! There is a well-known technique for “manually” making ice cream without any equipment. You’ll need two freezer bags, some ice, and some salt. Try googling “ice cream in a bag”. This (and any other standard ice cream base recipe) will work just fine with that technique. Basically, it amounts to using ice to chill the ice cream base, and then agitating it yourself (instead of having a machine to continuously stir it as it freezes).

I don’t want mint leaves in my ice cream – will I lose the flavour if I take them out? We like to leave the mint in for added flavour (it’s also nice to see the little flecks of green), but if you’d rather not, then you can simply warm the milk with the mint leaves until slightly steaming, remove from heat and steep for 10 min, then strain the leaves out. You may need to add a little more milk after this to compensate for anything that evaporates or is absorbed by the mint, in order to get the full 430g needed for the recipe.

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