I won't keep you from this dessert any longer (although I suspect you've probably skipped all of this upon reading it was about ice cream). Here's Lindsey with the most delicious and refreshing vanilla mint chocolate chunk ice cream recipe:
I'd like to tell you that this lovely mint came from my own personal garden. I'd like to tell you that I whispered sweet nothings to it as I lovingly raised it from a seedling to glorious maturity. I'd like to tell you that my backyard looks like something out of a Barefoot Contessa with a lush jungle of waist high rosemary, basil, and thyme. I'd like to tell you that when planting my herbs this spring, I had the forethought to include mint. But I can't. I won't lie to you.
The truth is my sad little herb garden -- which consists of six dollar store terracotta pots with the wrong potting soil -- is infested with aphids and hasn't been watered in three days. It's dry, brown and rather piddly. It's not pretty.
So no, I will not be making fresh pesto from my own basil. And no, I will not be garnishing my pasta with chopped parsley. And no, I will not be stirring chives into my sour cream to make baked potatoes extra special. And I will most certainly not be making creamy potato salad with my own sprigs of dill.
Let's just be real here. I buy my herbs from little containers at the supermarket. Frequently they're wilted and often smushed. I buy hot house tomatoes because they're cheaper than the vine ripened tomatoes. I am a dirty dirty herb killer.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about ice cream. I've always wanted to make vanilla mint chocolate chunk ice cream with fresh mint and real vanilla bean and, I've got to tell you, I wasn't disappointed. The mint leaves create a cool mint flavour with a bright fresh from the garden taste that just can't be replicated with all the extracts in the world. The unexpected bonus of using fresh mint was the subtle hint of green that tinted the custard. The vanilla bean sweetens and deepens the flavour while adding yet another layer to the experience. Of course, it couldn't be complete without chocolate! I promise you'll never want that grocery store mint ice cream again!
makes about 10 servings
source: adapted from KitchenAid's French Vanilla Ice Cream
2 1/2 cup half and half cream
1 vanilla bean
3 cup mint leaves, packed
8 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chunks
In a medium sauce pan, heat the half and half cream, whole vanilla bean, and mint leaves on medium heat until it starts steaming. Take it off the heat, cover it, and set it aside for an hour to allow the mint flavour time to infuse.
Reheat the cream mixture on medium heat until it's very hot but not boiling. Strain out the mint leaves and set aside the vanilla bean.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar on low speed until they're blended and slightly thick, about 30 seconds. Pour the hot cream gradually into the egg yolk mixture while it's mixing on low.
Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the edge of your knife. Stir in the vanilla seeds, whipping cream, and salt then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Once it's sufficiently chilled, mix it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the last few minutes of mixing, add the chocolate chunks.
Serve it with a garnish of fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!