The overall process took longer than the Gucci Muu Muu ice cream, which was the first Jeni's recipe I tried, as the torn mint leaves need to be steeped into the ice cream based for 4-12 hours to let the scent permeate the ice cream. The only concern I had was that the recipe called for "a large handful of fresh mint" and I wasn't really sure that the leftover mint I had was enough, and I knew there wouldn't be any way to supplement it because the previous day I had to go to FIVE stores to find the very last little bunch of mint, some of which I had already used in another recipe. (So "Giant Eagle Mint Ice Cream" would be a more honest name in this case, but the experience did make me seriously consider planting my own mint.). In any case, to ensure maximum flavor from my minimal mint, I steeped it for the full 12 hours before straining it out.
But when I tasted the ice cream base afterwards, it tasted like...sweet cream. Good sweet cream, mind you, but no hint of mint. Yikes! Should I make it as is anyway or try to make it mintier somehow? I decided to see if i could salvage the batch by chopping up some of the mint in my food processor and mixing the finely chopped mint into the base.
|Backyard Mint Ice Cream|
I would have preferred to have had it turn out without adding the chopped mint, but at least this turned out great anyway. So great I finished the entire batch - which was about 2.5 cups - in three days' time, all while I was also enjoying the batch Basil Ice Cream I had made at the same time. The most amazing part was the texture, both in terms of how easy it was to scoop (unlike ice cream I had made before) and in terms of mouthfeel.
So, I call this one a success. :)
Thanks to my Basil Ice Cream, which I made at the same time and came out pretty much perfect (not to brag or anything!), I now know for future reference that about 2 cups of fresh mint would probably be a good amount to use for this recipe.
This is part of a series of posts on recipes from or inspired by Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams at Home. The rest of the series may be found here.