With new red ice cream maker in hand, my boyfriend and I decided to pool our collective ice cream preferences. His? Bourbon and vanilla bean. Mine? Using our new chocolate mint plant. The result ended up more tasty than we predicted (particularly in the insane heat that Washington DC is getting in August). Hope you enjoy! —FedandZested
2 1/4 cups
mint (we used chocolate mint, but any type will work)
Using a large pan, mix 1 cup of milk, 2 and ¼ cup heavy cream, sugar, and the mint. Bring this to a steam, but do not boil. Once steaming cover with lid and turn heat off to let the flavors infuse for 30 min.
While flavors are infusing, take the vanilla bean pod and cut it lengthwise exposing the beans. Using the tip of a knife scrap the inside of the pod removing the beans (I keep my vanilla beans on a spoon until I use them).
After the milk and cream has sat for 30 min on the stove with no additional heat I turn the heat back on and add the yolks and bring it back to a steam.
Bring yolks and cream mixture to an almost-boil until mixture forms into a custard-like consistency (don’t boil completely but just hot enough that the yolks will be cooked). Then pour custard through a fine strainer. This will remove any chunks of egg that may have over-cooked as well as the mint leafs. Then press the mint to extract any additional mint flavor into the custard. It is at that point that you add the vanilla beans (which you already removed from the pod). Stir all together.
Place custard in refrigerator for 1½ – 3 hours. While custard is chilling, finely chop the chocolate of your choice. We use semi-sweet, but you should use whatever chocolate seems the most appealing to you.
Once the custard has chilled a bit, set up your ice cream machine. Pour half of custard into the ice cream maker and add about half of the chopped chocolate then continue pouring the remainder of the custard. Add the remainder of the chocolate on top and then wait and watch as it turns thicker from the churning.
After the ice cream has been going for approximately 10 min, add the bourbon into the mix. This will do two things, first, it will give a very faint hint of bourbon flavor, which goes extremely well with the vanilla and mint, and secondly, the alcohol prevents the Ice cream from turning rock hard. This is necessary, because most ice creams use extract, which has alcohol in it, which does exactly the same thing.
[Side recipe, making your own vanilla extract, take the skin of the vanilla pod and put it in a jar with Vodka or Rum. After 8 weeks, you will have your own homemade Vanilla extract to use.]