How to make it

  • In a double boiler over medium heat, combine the milk and cream. Note: A double boiler is made when a lower pan filled with about an inch of water is used to heat a bowl placed over it. It is important because it allows for even low heating. Water boils at 212F. This means the steam in the lower pan surrounds the upper bowl where the cooking is done and the heat is low and consistent. In making custards, melting chocolate, and making ganache, the direct heat of a stovetop can be too harsh. But if you do not have a double boiler — or the set up as I have done with a metal bowl and a saucepan — you can move back and forth between direct heat and off.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and eggs. This is important because the sugar will help to keep the eggs from curdling when you add the hot liquid.
  • When your milk mixture reaches approximately 150F, you temper the egg-sugar mixture.Note: Tempering in this case means the gradual raising of heat. This keeps the eggs from cooking. If you were to add the eggs to the cream immediately, you’d get little pieces of scrambled eggs. Instead, to temper, add part of the hot cream a ladle-full at a time into the egg-sugar mixture until you’ve added approximately half of the mixture from the double boiler. Whisk while you add! This keeps the temperature dispersed and ensures the sugar melts.
  • Once you’ve tempered the egg-sugar mixture, pour the mixture into the bowl over the heat.
  • Continue to whisk until mixture reaches at least 160F. Note: You are making custard, so it will begin to thicken — especially against the bottom of the bowl. Occasionally scrape the bottom to keep the mixture underneath from over-cooking.
  • Remove from heat into another bowl. Add the mint leaves. Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Strain the mint leaves out. Now add the mint extract.
  • Optional step: Return to fridge and let cool overnight. The benefit of this is that the cooler the mixture, the smoother the ice cream. Now when added to the ice cream maker it will result in an even smoother mouth texture.
  • Add the ice cream to your maker, following its directions.

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