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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
Pour the mixture into the prepped ice cream maker then add the candy and process for 20 minutes.
Serve as soft serve and place into a container to freeze and hard for 3-4 hours.
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
It has two layers, Inner for the ice cream and Outer to insulate it from over-freezing and protecting it from forming ice crystals
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.
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.