Fresh mint ice cream is wonderfully refreshing, and the perfect way to use up a bumper crop of mint.
Fresh mint is one of the best parts of a home herb garden, but it can be tricky to use find ways to use mint in the kitchen. One of my favorites, of course, is mint ice cream!
I’m not talking about that bright green grocery store stuff, I’m talking about homemade mint ice cream with real mint. It’s been a while since I made a batch, but when I saw this wild mint growing as a weed in my new raspberry bed I knew it was time.
Fresh mint ice cream doesn’t have actual mint leaves in the finished ice cream. While mint has pleasant volatile oils within its leaves, it also has bitter grassy notes underneath.
To extract just the mint flavor from fresh mint, start by warming a bit of cream on the stove. Place the mint leaves into the cream and allow the flavors to infuse for a few hours. It’s amazing how quickly it all happens, and afterwards, the leaves are strained out to leave a smooth fresh mint ice cream.
For this mint ice cream recipe, I’m using my go to custard base with plenty of egg yolks. The creaminess of the custard base works really well with the bright mint flavors.
After you’ve strained the mint from the cream, return it to the stove. Add sugar and beaten egg yolks, and cook the mixture on low until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This happens pretty quick, about 5 minutes or so.
Remove the custard base from the heat, add the milk to quickly cool it and place the whole ice cream base in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Next up, freeze it in an ice cream maker and you’re good to go!
Fresh Mint Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker
Don’t have an ice cream maker? That’s no problem. One of the reasons I love this custard base ice cream is that it’s really versatile and you can make it without an ice cream maker.
This was actually the very last batch of ice cream I made before my new ice cream maker arrived. I spend forever reading the reviews before I picked the very best ice cream maker, and at that point, I wanted ice cream bad enough that I made one last batch without it.
Simply place the ice cream batter into a KitchenAid mixer bowl (or other stand mixer bowl) and place it in the freezer. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours, then take it out and beat it with the paddle. Repeat again in another 2-3 hours.
What you’re doing here is breaking up the ice crystals just a bit, in the same way that an ice cream maker would. Even if you forget and just leave the bowl in the freezer overnight, it still works just fine. Just give it a beat when you remember, then scoop it into a storage container for the freezer.
Easy no churn mint ice cream!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves, packed
- 6 large egg yolks
1. Warm the cream in a heavy saucepan and add the mint. Leave the mixture to infuse for about an hour. Strain the mint and discard, reserving the cream.
2. Return the pan to the stove, and heat on low. Add sugar and beaten egg yolks, stirring continuously.
3. Cook the cream and yolk mixture over low heat until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
4. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat, pour into a bowl and add milk to cool the mixture.
5. Refrigerate the mixture overnight to cool it completely (or at least 4 hours), and then freeze in an ice cream maker.
6. Pour into a storage container and freeze until completely firm.
To make fresh mint ice cream without an ice cream maker, simply place the ice cream batter into a KitchenAid mixer bowl (or other stand mixer bowl) and place it in the freezer. Allow it to freeze for 2-3 hours, then take it out and beat it with the paddle. Repeat again in another 2-3 hours.
After the second beating, scoop the mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze until solid.
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More Ways to Use Fresh Mint
Still looking for more ways to use fresh mint? Try any of these fun recipes:
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Dessert for Two
- Mint Chocolate Sorbet ~ Blossom to Stem
- Strawberry Mint Sorbet ~ Nourished Kitchen
- Strawberry Mint Panna Cotta ~ The Rustic Foodie