Peppermint Patty Ice Cream

At 6:34 pm on 6/20/2016, the Summer Solstice officially begins.

Oh boy has it been hot the past two weekends!  So happy we made the investment in that swamp cooler six years ago. We’ve already had two porch parties since Memorial Day, but now we are just kicking back and enjoying the cool house and the fruits of our garden.

We’ve had a mint plant for a few years. I mostly used the leaves for garnish, to steep in hot water or in cold water. But I have discovered a few more recipes here and there to make the mint the star of the recipe.

mint plant

This is one of our mint plants. It has behaved itself and not spread out like crazy as mint can do. We have another mint plant that did go wild last year. My husband ripped it out but the little bug-gar keeps sprouting little offspring. They are similar plants but the leaves are distinctly different.  I am wondering if this well-behaved mint plant is spearmint flavored and the wild mint plant, peppermint in flavor. Hmmmm?

I was dreaming of ice cream in this heat so I perused my recipe books. After looking them over and reading reviews about type of ice cream, I decided to combine two recipes into one from the Cuisinart recipe booklet and from Alton Brown’s Good Eats 2: The Middle Years cookbook.

cream and mint

Ingredients:

3 cups half and half

1 cup heavy cream

8 large egg yolks

9 oz sugar

large bunch of mint leaves

3-6 oz of peppermint patties candy coarsely chopped

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Combine the half and half and cream in a saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat and add the mint leaves allowing them to steep for 20-30 minutes.

steeping the leaves

Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until they lighten in color, then add in the sugar and mix until smooth.

Remove or strain the cream and mint mixture. Then temper the egg yolk and sugar mixture by ladling 1/3 of the cream mixture into the bowl whisking constantly. Then place the tempered cream and egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until the custard thickens to coat the back of a spoon or a temp of 170-175 degrees F.

heating the mixture to 170 degrees F

Transfer the custard into a new bowl or wash out the egg yolk bowl and then add the vanilla and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 8-10 hours (or overnight)

fresh from the churn

Pour the mixture into the prepped ice cream maker then add the candy and process for 20 minutes.

creamy mint chip ice-cream

Serve as soft serve and place into a container to freeze and hard for 3-4 hours.

Patty’s Points:

1.I like the frozen custard or French-style type of ice cream which must contain 1.4 percent egg yolk solids to meet that definition.

2.You can substitute 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil instead of mint leaves but you would add it after the tempering of the egg yolks and cream mixture and omit the vanilla.

3.You can substitute the peppermint patties with mint chocolate chips or with good shaved dark chocolate and white chocolate.

4.I LOVE my new find the Tovolo Glide-a-scoop Ice cream container

Tevolo

It has two layers, Inner for the ice cream and Outer to insulate it from over-freezing and protecting it from forming ice crystals
Two parts of Tevolo

It also is easy to store, taking up less space than traditional ice cream containers. It cost about $15.00 and I had a 10% off coupon which was nice.

storing the ice-cream

5. The mint had more of a spearmint taste to it and it gave the cream a slight green color. I like it but I like peppermint better. I’ll have to try the wild mints leaves to see if it has more of a peppermint flavor. You could add a few drops of green food coloring to get the full color experience of mint.

6.Some of the recipes called for more cream (3 cups) and whole milk        (1 1/2 cups) or varying amounts of cream 2 cups half and half to 1 cup cream. Use whatever combo you wish for your taste.

7. Another option would be to use the peppermint oil 1 tsp and add crushed peppermint candies or candy canes and make it festive for the Christmas holidays.

Welcome Summer – We’re so glad you are here!

I’m going to stay inside where it is cool.

cropped-beesunflower6x9_427x640.jpg

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The Ice Cream Social

The weather this summer has been unbearable, so far. Colorado has had horrible fires that thankfully, are nearly all contained by the time of this post. It was hot and humid on the 4th of July, so ice cream was the best remedy to the solution.

The Fearless Cooking Club challenge was for each member to bring an ice cream dessert. A few members were concerned about what to make as they had no ice cream maker. Alas, everyone rose to the challenge of making ice cream, and for most members, for the very first time.

To begin our “star”, Joy made three, yes you heard me, three ice cream desserts. She is holding the Honey Ice Cream recipe by The Hungry Australian blog site. Joy had  honey all the way from Mt Vernon, Virginia. This recipe does not require an ice cream maker and the cream is whipped prior to combining all the ingredients. We only wished we had some honey from the bees who pollenate the eucalyptus trees.

Joy then brought out a lavender ice cream from an edition of English Home magazine. One taste transported me to a tea room sipping hot tea and a lovely biscuit. And lastly she made a homemade ice cream cake out of two cartons of ice cream and cookies. She found the ice cream cake container at home. Her basement is a great supply closet for all kinds of kitchen equipment.

Cindy, our newest member, made the WordPress Freshly Pressed recipe Christmas in July Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches from Cookie Talk. She said that she messed up the gingerbread as she didn’t have parchment paper. But she put the “damaged” gingerbread on the bottom layer and no one knew there was a problem. She had a cute presentation didn’t she?

Next up, our calorie conscious member Char, made Brown Cow Ice cream floats. She had a soft serve ice cream machine that she made vanilla ice cream with Splenda, sugar-free chocolate syrup and Diet A&W Root Beer.

Julie made a chocolate ice cream that she made with sweetened condensed milk and silky chocolate.  It served well in popsicle form.

Barb made a fabulous Lemon Semifreddo by Anne Burrell Food Network. It tasted like frozen lemon meringue pie. So refreshing.

Lastly I brought my ice cream: Maple Bacon Cayenne (on the right, this time marinated with bacon) and the Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream (left). The bacon was chopped and provided as a topping.

Patty’s Points:

1. Everyone was equally impressed by each other’s efforts. Luckily, husbands and grown children came by to partake in all the sweets. We had lots of savory like veggies, chips and dips to balance out the sweet.

2. All of the ice cream treats were delicious. My personal favorite was the semifreddo. It was so unique and fresh. Anne Burrell is becoming one of my favorite chefs on the Food Network. Her recipes are so tasty and easy to replicate at home.

Halfway through the summer. The monsoon rains started and cooled everything off for a few days. It will be back in the 90s later this week. Stay cool out there.

Ice Cream Social Countdown: Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream

The 4th of July party is just an hour away! For the finale I made a recipe from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet that came with my ice cream maker: Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream.

2 C whole milk

1 1/2 C heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1-2 pinches cayenne

pinch salt

2/3 C granulated sugar, divided

5 large egg yolks

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Medium saucepan whisk milk,cream,vanilla,spices, salt and half the sugar. Bring to a boil

In a separate bowl combine egg yolks and remaining sugar whisk until pale and thick.

In another bowl place chopped chocolate.

When the cream mixture comes to a slight boil, whisk 1/3 of hot liquid into the yolk mixture and whisk so it doesn’t become scrambled eggs. Whisk in another 1/3 of the hot liquid then return the cream/yolk mixture back into the saucepan stirring with a wooden spoon constantly over low heat until it is thick and coats the spoon.

Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into the bowl with the chocolate pieces which to combine and let it come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

When ready, pour it into the ice cream maker and let it process 20 minutes. It is soft and creamy so if you want it to have a firmer consistency, pop it back into the freezer.

Patty’s Points:

1. Lovely flavor, nice combination of cinnamon and cayenne.

2. I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate so I used cocoa powder and improvised (3 TBSP cocoa + 1 TBSP oil = 1 oz chocolate).

3. I didn’t have whole milk and substituted half and half and it turned out fine.

I am dashing off to the party now. As you can see below, I made my Pretzel Sparklers that I will be bringing to the party to serve with ice cream. Details of the party to come later….

Ice Cream Social Countdown: Mango and Coconut Ice Cream

Next on the 4th of July Fearless Cooking Club challenge is an ice cream recipe I found from WordPress feature of ten food blogs to follow this summer. The Patterned Plate featured a beautiful picture of this orange, luscious, exotic dessert I wanted to dive into it (it was a hot day). Mango sounded so refreshing.

I  may have bought one mango before in my life and it was hard as a rock.  I have a fear of produce I have failed to use successfully. Lucky for me I when I went into the local grocery store there were cartons of ripe mangos for sale. On the side of the carton was directions on how to cut open a mango. Hurray for me, pictures! Oh the visual learner that I am.

Mango and Coconut Ice Cream from The Patterned Plate

3 to 4 ripe Mangos (to equal 3 cups)

1 ¼ cup of full fat coconut milk

½ cup cream

¾ cup granulated sugar

lime juice to taste

Cut the mango into chunks, macerate with 1/3 of the sugar if still hard and not quite ripe and cook over a low heat. Use a hand blender and puree the mangos.

**See this time I figured out to use the hand blender instead of dumping a big mess in the food processor**

Now add 2/3 of the coconut milk and all the cream; then add a bit of the lime juice and then taste. Then you will be adding a more of the sugar and the coconut milk a little bit at a time; puree and then taste.

Leave the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours before churning in the ice cream maker. The Patterned Plate author recommends to churn it longer than custard type ice cream. Return it to the freezer to set. Before serving let it set out to soften and then serve.

Top with toasted coconut flakes or mango chunks.

Patty’s Points

1. Absolutely lovely. It was so refreshing to the palate. Do you hear me singing?

2. Best eaten fresh. After several days in the freezer it lost its beautiful essence. DH liked it too.

3. Pretty easy once you figure out how to cut open a mango. The mango must be ripe. If the mango is not ripe The Patterned Plate author recommends macerating it in sugar for several hours and then cooking it on the stove top to soften it.

Next up on the ice cream challenge….hmmmm not sure. I think I would like to try a something with chocolate.  I’ll be searching.