Unless you have access to a fine local ice cream or gelato shop, the best way to get a delicious ice cream is to make it yourself.
Making your own ice cream is also a great way to experiment with seasonal herbs, spices, fruits and other ingredients. I use the following cream base with spearmint I grow in a pot in my yard.
Fresh Spearmint Ice Cream
- 2 cups organic heavy cream not ultrapasteurized
- 2 cups organic whole milk
- 1 cup mint leaves loosely packed
- 1 cup unrefined sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 4 egg yolks
Boil & Infuse the Cream. Combine cream, milk, pinch of salt and your flavor agent in a medium sized saucepan. For the mint ice cream, I pick fresh spearmint, remove the leaves from the stems and add them (approx 1 cup, loosely packed) directly to the cream before bringing to a boil. (As an alternative to the mint, you can use a vanilla bean, or 3-4 tea bags -- experiment! This is a great ice cream base.) Bring milk/cream to a boil and then remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a 4 cup glass measuring cup and return the infused cream to the saucepan.
Prepare egg yolks. Put the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl set over another bowl filled half way with hot tap water. Whisk the yolks until they are lukewarm, 90 - 100 degrees (this will just take a minute or two), then remove the bowl from the water.
Second boil. Add the sugar to the milk/cream and bring back to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat and immediately pour a gradual stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly for a minute. This will cook the egg yolks, an instant-read thermometer will register 170 - 180 degrees. Whisk for another minute to slightly cool the mixture and pour through a fine sieve into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Refrigerate overnight for best results.
Freeze. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- For chocolate shards in your mint chip ice cream, melt 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave and gradually drizzle into the churning ice cream during the last 5 minutes of processing.