Make Ahead

Cucumber-Mint Ice Cream

June  8, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes About 1 1/2 quarts
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

Test Kitchen Notes

This fun, quirky recipe really works! I knew I was going to love the cucumber-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

What You'll Need
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup packed mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup 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 to 1 cups very finely chopped white chocolate (or mini chocolate chips), optional
  1. Purée 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.)
  2. Put the mint leaves and the sugar into the food processor bowl. Process until the mint is finely ground. (You could also grind them together with a mortar and pestle. )
  3. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk and heavy cream over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  4. 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.
  5. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the tempered egg mixture.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat. Add the honey and salt. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is between 175 and 180 degrees, or thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. This will take 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. )
  7. Strain the cucumber through a fine mesh strainer into the custard. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. 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 until cold.
  9. 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 beginning look like ice cream), about 5 minutes before it's ready, pour in the white chocolate.
  10. It's good, right?!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sandra @ Foodmanna
    Sandra @ Foodmanna
  • lapadia
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • AntoniaJames
  • drbabs

19 Reviews

Sandra @. November 24, 2013
I stumbled upon this recipe! Sounds amazing! I am going to make this tonight. Thanks for sharing.
drbabs November 24, 2013
Thanks for letting me know! I hope you enjoy it.
BizzieB_ATX June 30, 2011
Just tried this... Love it! I volunteer on an organic farm and I was trying to find something interesting to do with the cucumbers, so I thought icecream too! Found a different recipe first but it didn't work out so well. It was an uncooked version with just heavy cream and no eggs. It left a very fatty heavy film in your mouth. I found this recipe next and gave it a try- it's perfect! So light and refreshing! I also got some fresh mint from the farm as well, so it worked out perfectly! Thanks so much for posting this!
lapadia August 25, 2010
FYI – I made this recipe (finally), I am slowly working my way through saved F52 recipes. As I mentioned a couple months ago, I don't use eggs in my ice cream, in its place I always add a tablespoon extra heavy cream per yolk instead. Love that mint, excellent & refreshing, thanks for sharing your creation!
drbabs August 25, 2010
I'm so happy you liked it! I have been making ice cream without eggs also...I prefer it that was as well.
Kitchen B. June 26, 2010
What a delightful the combo and like the idea of salted (somewhat savoury) peanuts
AntoniaJames June 24, 2010
Just a postscript here . . . . I used a scoop of this in a gin and seltzer float, which was heavenly on a hot weekend afternoon. Decadent, but tasty indeed. Plan to make this ice cream again when our blueberries are ripe, at which time I'll put together a quick blueberry lime sauce as a topping. Love this recipe!! ;o)
drbabs June 24, 2010
Thanks so much for your great commentary--blueberry lime sauce sounds heavenly--will have to try that!
lapadia June 10, 2010
Does sound really good plain. Yesterday I made a peanut butter ice cream using fresh ground peanuts and I added the mini-choco chips too!...Inspired by your mini-white chips! Will be posting that one soon.
drbabs June 10, 2010
oh, that sounds amazing--can't wait to try it.
clintonhillbilly June 9, 2010
this sounds great - when we fix our ice cream machine I will definitely try it!
drbabs June 8, 2010
Thanks, all of you, for your nice comments! (I will try to get a picture up before the deadline.) @lapadia--I don't love white chocolate either, but if you chop it really fine (a little smaller than the mini chocolate chips), you can't see it in the ice cream so you get these little surprise hits of chewy sweetness.
lapadia June 10, 2010
For me the white chocolate makes things sweeter than I usually like; but I shall try the smaller than mini - white chocolate chips. PS - I will give anything a try at least once....unless they are the grilled june bugs recipe I just saw out here...YIKES!
drbabs June 10, 2010
LOL! yup, I thought that was over the top, too. Try it with little dark chocolate chips--it will look like mint chip ice cream--or nuts--or it's really a smooth ice cream and is good plain, too.
student E. June 8, 2010
wowzers! the white chocolate and salted peanuts are brilliant.
WinnieAb June 8, 2010
I can picture a cucumber sorbet...but cucumber ice cream? So interesting! This is going on the "must try" list for sure!
lapadia June 8, 2010
What an idea, and one I am going to play with! When I make Ice Cream I like Philadelphia Style = no eggs, not really a fan of white chocolate either...BUT, your ingredients minus that are similar to my vanilla ice cream recipe. I love the mint/cucumber idea, so I am going to have some fun with your recipe…thanks for sharing!
monkeymom June 8, 2010
Wow, so creative! yum!
nannydeb June 8, 2010
sounds delicious!