Cartoons & Ice Cream

August 9, 2008 at 12:04 pm 11 comments

One cool scoop

Growing up, I didn’t have television.  At the time, I was understandably a little bitter. Today, I can see how it really helped to shape my creative side and develop my love of words since reading and writing consumed the time most kids spent watching TV.  I did, however, get one reprieve a week from the no-TV rule.  My grandmother lived just a hefty stone’s throw away from our house and Saturday mornings were spent in her living room, watching cartoons. 

Mint leaves

My grandmother was, and still is, everything a grandma should be, namely indulgent and fun.  She’d often spoil our lunch by giving my brother and I big bowls of ice cream.  She always had dozens of flavors on hand in her chest freezers in the basement.  But vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, cherry, and rocky road couldn’t tempt me.  Without fail, I’d always pick mint chocolate chip.  I loved the green color, the fresh coolness of the mint and the frozen crunch of the chocolate bits. 

Steeping mint in cream

For the longest time, I thought that funky green color always came with anything flavored with mint.  See, for as many lovely vegetables and fruits grown around our house, we never had many herbs, including mint.  When I began growing mint for myself, I have to confess I was a little disappointed that it didn’t impart that cool green hue to all my dishes. 

The base ready for its maker

What it lacks in color, Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream makes up for in flavor.  It’s ridiculously fresh and refreshing (yes, there’s a difference between the two).  And this version is much creamier than any I’ve had.  Fortuitously, the basic recipe I used to make Lavender Ice Cream has proven the perfect base for any herbal infusion.   It’s super quick to make too compared to the more traditional custard base, without sacrificing any consistency. 

My mint plant

Since mint grows like a weed, I was heavy handed on cutting mine for this recipe, bringing inside several cups of leaves.  Even so, I think I could have used more for a stronger minty flavor.  So use as much as you like and any variety of mint will work.  I happen to have both grapefruit and chocolate mints growing right now.  Obviously, I opted for the chocolate variety for this recipe.  But I think the grapefruit would have imparted an interesting citrus note that I might consider for another mint ice cream in the future. 

Mint strained out

I still watch Saturday morning cartoons.  And I have to tell you, a dish of this homemade stuff sure tasted good while I watched Tom and Jerry chase each other around the screen.  

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
A Straight from the Farm original

1 C. whole milk
1 C. or more of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
1/2 C. superfine sugar
pinch of salt
1 2/3 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Place the milk in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the mint leaves and vanilla bean and heat until quite hot but not boiling.  Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes.  Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the minty milk into a medium bowl.  Discard the mint leaves and vanilla bean. 

To the minty milk, add the sugar and salt, stirring until dissolved.  Add the heavy cream and taste the mixture for sweetness.  It should be slightly sweeter than you want as it will mellow out when frozen.  Place in your ice cream maker and follow the manufacture’s directions.  Store ice cream in an air tight container in the freezer. 

(makes about 1 quart)

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary  |  August 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Your ice cream looks delicious. Mint chocolate chip was always a favorite when I was a kid too! And I was just telling my husband last night that we got our first color tv just in time for the 1984 olympics in Los Angelos.

  • 2. Tina  |  August 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    YUUUUUM! I could go for this right now! 🙂

  • 3. Tony  |  August 10, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I actually love that the ice cream doesn’t take on that hue of green (well, at least not the alien green most ice cream companies give their mint chocolate chip flavor). I just started growing spearmint about a month ago for cooking – is this variety ok for making ice cream or do I need the peppermint?
    I hope spearmint works so that I can whip up a batch sooooooon 🙂

  • 4. Jennie  |  August 10, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Tony – Spearmint would definitely work. Let me know how you like it! 🙂

  • 5. brilynn  |  August 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    That looks wonderful!
    I made some mint chocolate swirl ice cream a little while ago, but it’s all gone now, I need more!

  • 6. Katie  |  August 11, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Finally Mint Chocolate Ice cream that doesn’t find the need to be GREEN!!!!

  • 7. albert  |  August 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

    wow does that look good. our mint plant all but died while away in CA a few weeks ago – still nursing it back to health. i hope to make this soon!

  • 8. Kimi  |  August 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Jennie, I am on an ice cream making binge at the moment. Yours really looks divine.
    I love your blog and left and award for you on my site!

  • 9. Joy the Baker  |  August 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    What a lovely post. You just put a smile on my face. I think it was all your grandma talk. This ice cream looks just beautiful! I don’t miss the funky green color at all!

  • 10. Jennie  |  August 11, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks, Kimi, for the award! I feel so honored! 🙂 Such great company you’ve put me in too! I’ll have to come up with a list to pass the honors along. 🙂

    Joy – I’m glad I could put a smile on your face. My grandma always puts one on mine so it’s good to pass it along. 🙂

  • 11. Maria  |  August 13, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Using fresh mint is the best! Your ice cream looks amazing!


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