Fresh Mint Ice Cream

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Makes 1 pint
Credit: David Lebovitz
Originally from July 2013 on my old blog

I have little sprigs of fresh mint growing all around my yard, and when I saw this recipe, that’s immediately what I thought of. I thought it was so cool that I was able to make ice cream from something grown right in my backyard. It just makes it taste even better.

I shall warn you right now: there is a huge difference between “mint” and REAL mint. The mint chocolate chip ice cream you’ve been buying from the grocery store your whole life is a lie. THIS is what fresh mint tastes like. Refreshing, sweet, and very strong. Most will love this ice cream, but a few picky eaters who are expecting the dulled down taste of packaged mint ice cream may be a little shocked.

If you want, you can add some green food coloring to make this ice cream more minty-looking, but I prefer to just keep it the way it is. After all, homemade cooking is all about starting with natural ingredients and straying as far away as you can from the dyes and additives that you find in packaged foods at the grocery store. When you see it, the beige-ish color doesn’t exactly scream “MINT!” but, why not let the taste do the talking? Or screaming.

This ice cream is perfect for summer: refreshing and clean tasting, not too rich or heavy. But mint is also kind of a holiday thing, too, right? So you could pretty much justify eating this at any point in the year. That’s my kind of recipe.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups lightly packed mint leaves (I did pretty heavily packed, I like a big punch of mint)
  • 5 large egg yolks

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream, and the salt in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the mint leaves and stir until they’re immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from heat and let steep at room temperature for an hour.

Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Press and squeeze the mint leaves to extract as much of the mint flavor as you can, then discard the mint leaves. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.

Get the biggest bowl you have and add a bunch of ice and cold water; this is your ice bath.

Rewarm the mint-infused mixture. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly (make sure to go slow! You don’t want to heat the eggs too fast and scramble them). Pour the warmed egg yolk-mint liquid back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Place the bowl of custard into the ice bath, holding carefully so no water enters the bowl, and stir until cool.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions (I usually freeze it for 15 to 17 minutes, because I like it super soft. It all depends on your preference!)

I usually eat a lot of the ice cream when it’s fresh out of the ice cream maker, because that is undoubtedly when it’s best, but of course there’s always left overs. I put it in a plastic Ziploc container and put it in the freezer for however long it takes to finish off, which usually isn’t long.

Happy dining!!


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