We got two huge bunches of mint in our CSA, and I knew right away that I wanted to make mint ice cream with some of it (the rest went into a fantastic mint pesto, which I'll post soon!). I sort of messed up this recipe, in that I didn't read down to see that after cooking the custard, you were supposed to add 1-1/2 cups heavy cream...so I just poured in the remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half that I had in the fridge, and called it a day. I was a little worried, but luckily the ice cream was still really rich and delicious. If you want the real Alice Waters deal, you can go ahead and add 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream in place of the 1/2 cup of half-and-half in step 4.
Either way, this ice cream has a really interesting flavor. Fresh mint is delicious and so different than the peppermint extract you find in regular mint ice cream. I loved the herbaceous, minty flavor - definitely something you won't find at the grocery, which to me is a big plus of making your own ice cream at home! We enjoyed this with a simple vanilla cake.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream (adapted from The Art of Simple Food)
Makes about 1-1/2 pints
6 egg yolks
2 cups half-and-half, divided
2/3 cups sugar
1 large bunch fresh mint, leaves coarsely chopped
1. Place the yolks in a medium heat-proof bowl and whisk to break them up a bit.
2. Combine 1-1/2 cups of the half-and-half with the sugar and mint in a large saucepan. Warm over medium heat until the cream begins to steam and small bubbles form at the edges - don't let it come to a full boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and press on the mint to extract as much cream as possible. Return to the stove, and reheat until steaming.
3. Pour the hot cream into the yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Scrape back into the pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (1-2 minutes).
4. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours, until very cold.
5. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the directions on your ice cream maker.