I came across this recipe and I just KNEW I had to try it. I was totally intrigued by the idea of making mint ice cream by steeping fresh mint leaves in hot cream instead of using an extract. So, yesterday – as a mother’s day treat for me – I made it.
And it was fantabulous! (Would you believe that fantabulous was not tagged by spell check? Since when was fantabulous a real word?)
This does NOT taste like the mint ice cream you buy. So don’t go into it expecting that or you’ll think it tastes weird. What it does taste like is…mint! I mean, real mint. The kind that grows in your backyard or a field. Have you ever smelled fresh mint? Picked it and chewed it on a hot summer day? That is exactly what this tastes like. In ice cream form. Fresh and green like something from a meadow somewhere. It’s delicate and slightly grassy and absolutely intriguing. And it goes perfectly with the honey used to sweeten the ice cream.
I chopped up a very dark 85% cacao chocolate bar and put it in with this ice cream, but it really isn’t necessary. It would be great on its own. And, think of all the things that fresh mint would taste good with. I think mint tastes great in a fruit salad, so how about a dollop of this mint ice cream on top of a bowl of fresh strawberries or other fruit? I think that would make a spectacular summer dessert!
It goes without saying (or should) that this has enough honey in it to make it something you should eat carefully. If you’re experiencing pain or other acute symptoms of inflammation, you’ll want to consider very carefully before eating this. But if you’re maintaining a “whole food sweeteners in moderation” lifestyle this is perfect!
Edit: 4-20-2014 – I never put chocolate chips in this anymore, but always – ALWAYS – have it with fresh fruit on top. It is beyond heavenly. This is definitely my favorite dessert!
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup + honey
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mint
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 2 Tbsp tapioca starch (can be left out if you don't have it - using it makes it smoother)
- (optional) half of a very dark (85% cacao or more) chocolate bar, chopped
- (optional) Liquid stevia to sweeten it more
- Pour the cream, milk, and honey in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the mint leaves, scraped vanilla bean, and tapioca starch.
- Heat until bubbles start to form at the edges, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Pour the mix into a bowl through a sieve to strain out the mint leaves. If you didn't use a vanilla bean, stir in the tablespoon of vanilla at this point.
- Taste, and if necessary add a bit more honey or 10 or so drops liquid stevia. It will taste different once it's cold, so you're only going for sweetness here.
- Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. This will take at least 2 hours, probably more.
- Use in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Would be perfect served on top of fresh fruit, or any other food that goes well with fresh mint!
(Part of Read Food Wednesday)