Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Fresh mint ice cream is a great recipe for using up some of the minty abundance in your garden! Bits of dark chocolate contrasts nicely with the sharpness of the mint.

Mint ice cream is one of the most popular and beloved flavors. It’s my personal favorite, and one I’m definitely going to try if it’s on the menu.

Ice cream made with fresh mint is an absolute game-changer. The flavor is clean, leaving you with a fresh feel in your mouth. And dark chocolate is a perfect complement to mint, with the slight bitterness of the chocolate contrasting with the sharpness of the mint. 

If you or one of your friends are a gardener, you probably have access to an abundance of mint in the summer. Enter this recipe for fresh mint ice cream. It uses 2-3 cups of mint leaves, which could really help with some of the extra you probably (definitely) have on hand. 

There are lots of varieties of mint available. I find that spearmint or chocolate mint has a slightly sweeter flavor than some varieties with a more peppery profile. However, any kind of mint you have will be balanced well with the creamy sweetness of the ice cream. Here’s more info on different kinds of mint for baking and cooking.

Recipe Ingredients:

The ingredients for fresh mint ice cream: Cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, mint, and vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves (see the section below about cooking with fresh mint)
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3-4 oz. (about 2/3 cup) chopped chocolate 
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (optional– see the Recipe Tips & Notes section)

Using Fresh Mint in Recipes

If you’re new to working with mint, here are a few pointers to help you out!

A close-up of a pot of fresh mint, ready to use in ice cream.
  • If you’re not a gardener but still love the flavor of fresh mint in ice cream, you can purchase mint at the grocery store in the same section of the produce department as the other fresh herbs.  However, it may be more economical to simply purchase a small mint plant–they’re available at your local nursery, hardware store, and even some grocery stores. 
  • Cut the mint as soon before using it as possible. Mint leaves are fairly delicate and will wilt quickly. Cutting them just before using them (as as close to it as possible) helps keep them fresh sharp tasting.
  • Measure your leaves before washing them. Wet leaves will be far more densely packed and it will be hard to get a full two cups.
  • But do wash those mint leaves well! If they’ve been growing outside, chances are a little buggy friend or two came in with your mint leaves as well as a bit of soil. Just make sure to wash them well on both sides before using.
  • Use just the leaves, not the stems. The very tender part of the stem just below the leaf is fine, but below that the stem gets tough and will add a bitter flavor to your ice cream.
  • Trim off any dark spots. A pair of kitchen scissors are handy for getting any dark or dried out spots off of the fresh leaves.
  • There are lots of varieties of mint available. I find that spearmint or chocolate mint has a slightly sweeter flavor than some varieties with a more peppery profile. However, any kind of mint you have will be balanced well with the creamy sweetness of the ice cream.

How to Make Fresh Mint Ice Cream:

Infusing the Milk and Mint Leaves:

  • Begin by washing your pre-measured mint leaves carefully to remove any dirt, insects, or debris they may have on them. 
  • Strain the leaves and pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Add the strained mint to the cup of whole milk in a small saucepan. Heat the milk over medium-low heat. It should be steaming but not boiling.
  • Turn off the heat, cover the milk and mint leaves with the lid, and let it steep for at least two hours. You can let it sit for up to 24 hours, but be sure to refrigerate it after the first two.

Making the Ice Cream Custard:

  • When the mint leaves are done steeping, pour the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl to remove the leaves. Set the milk aside.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl until they are smooth.
  • In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream and sugar together until it is steaming and the sugar has dissolved. It shouldn’t be boiling.
  • With a ladle, slowly drizzle some of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Whisk while you pour to avoid cooking the eggs.
  • Once you’ve added about ½-¾ cup of hot cream, whisk the egg and cream mixture back into the sauce pan. 
  • Cook the custard over medium or medium-low heat until it thickens, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid letting the custard bubble and boil, as it can curdle the egg yolks.
  • Allow the custard to continue cooking until it is thick enough that you can run a finger across the spoon and see the trail you left. If it is runny and covers up where your finger crossed the spoon, continue to cook it for a few minutes more.
  • Pour the cooked custard through the sieve and into a clean bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg that may be in it.
  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and refrigerate it until it is completely chilled. This will take several hours, and it will thicken as it gets colder.

Churning the Ice Cream

  • Prepare your ice cream freezer according to it’s directions. If you need to put the machine’s container in the freezer, make sure to do that the day before you are planning to churn the ice cream.
  • Assemble the ice cream machine, turn it on to begin churning, and pour the chilled mint custard into the bowl.
  • Allow the ice cream to churn for about 30 minutes, or until it’s nearly at a soft-serve stage.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt down 3 oz. (about 1/2 cup) of the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil. Heat it in 20-30 second increments, stirring after each to keep the chocolate from scorching.
  • Once the chocolate is all melted, drizzle it slowly into the ice cream while it’s churning. The chocolate will harden and distribute in tiny, crunchy bits.
  • Remove the ice cream from the machine and immediately scoop it into a freezer-safe dish.
  • Freeze the ice cream until it’s firm. This will take at least six hours, but it’s better left overnight.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

  • Taste a tiny bit of the milk occasionally when steeping it with the mint leaves to determine if you want the mint to be stronger. The longer they sit together, the stronger the flavor will become.
  • When it’s finished, the custard will be fairly yellow and may have a slightly green tint from the mint leaves.
  • When adding the chocolate, you can drizzle melted chocolate into the recipe, as described in the recipe, or you can simply chop your chocolate and add the chunks in during the last couple minutes of churning.

Other Ice Cream Recipes You May Enjoy:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Fresh Mint Ice Cream


  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Total Time: 21 minute
  • Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream

Description

Fresh mint ice cream is a great recipe for using up some of the minty abundance in your garden! Bits of dark chocolate contrast nicely with the sharpness of the mint.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 34 oz. (about 2/3 cup) chopped chocolate 
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut oil (optional)

Instructions

Infusing the Milk and Mint Leaves:

  • Begin by washing your pre-measured mint leaves carefully to remove any dirt, insects, or debris they may have on them. 
  • Strain the leaves and pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Add the strained mint to the cup of whole milk in a small saucepan. Heat the milk over medium-low heat. It should be steaming but not boiling.
  • Turn off the heat, cover the milk and mint leaves with the lid, and let it steep for at least two hours. You can let it sit for up to 24 hours, but be sure to refrigerate it after the first two.

Making the Ice Cream Custard:

  • When the mint leaves are done steeping, pour the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl to remove the leaves. Set the milk aside.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl until they are smooth.
  • In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream and sugar together until it is steaming and the sugar has dissolved. It shouldn’t be boiling.
  • With a ladle, slowly drizzle some of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Whisk while you pour to avoid cooking the eggs.
  • Once you’ve added about ½-¾ cup of hot cream, whisk the egg and cream mixture back into the sauce pan. 
  • Cook the custard over medium or medium-low heat until it thickens, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid letting the custard bubble and boil, as it can curdle the egg yolks.
  • Allow the custard to continue cooking until it is thick enough that you can run a finger across the spoon and see the trail you left. If it is runny and covers up where your finger crossed the spoon, continue to cook it for a few minutes more.
    • Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and refrigerate it until it is completely chilled. This will take several hours, and it will thicken as it gets colder.

    Churning the Ice Cream

    • Prepare your ice cream freezers according to it’s directions. If you need to put the machine’s container in the freezer, make sure to do that the day before you are planning to churn the ice cream.
    • Assemble the ice cream machine, turn it on to begin churning, and pour the chilled mint custard into the bowl.
    • Allow the ice cream to churn for about 30 minutes, or until it’s nearly at a soft-serve stage.
    • In a microwave safe bowl, melt down 3 oz. (about 1/2 cup) of the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil. Heat it in 20-30 second increments, stirring after each to keep the chocolate from scorching.
    • Once the chocolate is all melted, drizzle it slowly into the ice cream while it’s churning. The chocolate will harden and distribute in tiny, crunchy bits.
    • Remove the ice cream from the machine and immediately scoop it into a freezer-safe dish.
    • Freeze the ice cream until it’s firm. This will take at least six hours, but it’s better left overnight.
    • Pour the cooked custard through the sieve and into a clean bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg that may be in it.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 2+ hours steeping +24 hours churning & freezing

Share This Recipe With The World!

Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on print
Print
Share on email
Email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Scroll to Top
Rebecca Instagram

Follow Me On Instagram!

I post luscious food photos and new recipes on a weekly basis.