Mint (Ice Cream) Gets Its Just Desserts

spearmint ice creamWell, all good things must come to an end. So must mint.

And what better way to end something than with dessert.

And what better dessert is there than ice cream? Mint ice cream. Well, spearmint ice cream. I make the distinction because really good spearmint has nothing in common with Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.

Because this ice cream is complex and herbal in its flavor. Sure it is minty, but not pepperminty. Sure it’s sweet. But oh so subtly sweet. Just sweet enough to entice you into taking another bite.

You could add chocolate chunks, I suppose. But I think the pure taste of spearmint all on its own has more integrity in this case. I think it’s best to save the chocolate for peppermint ice cream.

But feel free to prove me wrong.

This recipe comes right out of Martha Stewart Living magazine. It is hers, word for word.

Except I doubled the mint– cause I wanted to emphasize the herbal, almost grassy quality of straight from the garden spearmint.

Plus, and I hate to admit this. I have never made ice cream before. This was my first time. Pretty good, huh? Spearmint Ice Cream serves 12 CLICK for printable recipe

2 cups loosely packed spearmint leaves
1‑cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
3/4‑cup sugar

  • Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook mint in a small saucepan of boiling water until bright green, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mint to ice water bath. When cool, drain, and squeeze out excess water. Reserve ice-water bath.
  • Puree mint and milk in a blender until mint is finely chopped. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add cream, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Gradually whisk 1/3 of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, and then pour egg-cream mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture. Set over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 8 minutes. (Do not let the mixture come to a simmer.)
  • Strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on mint to extract liquid. Set bowl in ice-water bath. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, about 4 hours (or up to 1 week).


Greg Henry