Author Notes: I know this sounds weird, but you aren't going to believe how good it is. I've been thinking about making different ice creams since I got my freezer last month, so when the challenge was cucumbers, I thought ice cream. I added a hint of mint and some finely chopped white chocolate to make it interesting. I like how the white chocolate disappears into the ice cream and then surprises you--but you can make it easier by using mini chocolate morsels. Chopped salted peanuts would be good, too. (Next time!) - drbabs - drbabs
Food52 Review: This fun, quirky recipe really works! I knew I was going to love the cucumber plus mint flavor combination, but I had no idea how much I'd like them blended into the creamy richness of a vanilla ice cream. What makes this so fun is that it’s really not obvious that the unusual flavor component is cucumber. I left the white chocolate out, and am glad I did, as the ice cream was not only somewhat light, but also, not too sweet. I heartily encourage you to try it. Two enthusiastic and very pleasantly surprised thumbs up!! - AntoniaJames - A&M
Serves about 1.5 quart
- 1 Large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 2/3 cups packed mint leaves
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole milk or half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 generous pinch kosher salt
- 1/2-1 cup very finely chopped white chocolate (or mini chocolate chips--optional)
- Puree the cucumber in a blender or food processor. You should have a scant 2/3 cup of puree, some of which will be liquid. You're going to strain out the solids, so this is fine. (Alternatively, if you have a juicer, you could simply juice the cucumber.)
- Put the mint leaves and the sugar into the food processor bowl. Process until the mint is finely ground. (Or you could grind them together with a mortar and pestle. )
- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk and heavy cream over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- Whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then add the sugar and mint mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. When the milk mixture steams and is hot but not simmering, whisk 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper the egg yolks.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the tempered egg mixture.
- Return the saucepan to the cooktop over medium heat. Add the honey and salt. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is 175-180 degrees, or thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should leave a clear mark through the custard. )
- Strain the cucumber through a fine mesh strainer into the custard. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cool the custard somewhat in an ice water bath and then strain it (to strain out some of the mint leaves) into a pitcher. Refrigerate till cold.
- Pour the custard into your ice cream freezer and churn according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream is starting to thicken (and look like ice cream), about 5 minutes before it's ready, pour in the white chocolate.
- It's good, right?!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Ice Cream
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cucumber Recipe