Vanilla Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

It’s a mouthful, I know.

Trying saying it 5 times quickly.

Or don’t. Maybe just make the ice cream instead.

Once upon a summer, I had a thriving mint plant in my windowsill. Then I went out of town one too many times and my mint plant died. But not before I had a chance to make vanilla mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I am so glad that I didn’t let the opportunity pass me by.

Chocolate chip mint ice cream was my all-time favorite as a kid. If we were lucky, my brother and I could convince our parents to stop at the ice cream shop where my father would get whatever caught his attention, my mother would get chocolate peanut butter, my brother would get something truly disgusting like bubblegum and I would get mint chocolate chip.  If I were really lucky I would get it in the form of an ice cream cake for my birthday. But seriously, what’s not to love about mint chocolate chip?

So how could I resist the temptation to make my very own homemade vanilla mint chocolate chip ice cream?

I couldn’t.

Since this is like my 87th ice cream since July, I am practically an expert now. Cook some dairy with sugar, a split vanilla bean and gobs of mint leaves. Let steep for at least an hour so as to infuse your cream with minty goodness. Stir into some egg yolks and slowly cook until thick. Strain into some more cream. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Fold in some mini chocolate chips. I could do this with my eyes closed.

This ice cream was phenomenal. Some ice creams I like to make in super small batches because while their flavors are good and interesting, I don’t want to be eating more than about 3 servings of it. Not so with this vanilla mint chocolate chip ice cream. I could eat gallons of if, day in and day out. Maybe it just brings out the kid in me, I don’t know.

Vanilla Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

makes about 1 quart

adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

**********
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
**********

Warm 1 cup milk, sugar, cream and salt in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved and steam rises from the milk. Stir in the mint leaves until completely submerged. Add split vanilla bean. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for at least an hour.

Strain mint-infused mixture, pressing down on mint leaves to extract as much mint flavor as possible, return to saucepan and rewarm over medium-low heat. Pour the remaining 1 cup of milk into a large bowl and set strainer on top.

Whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour in the warm mint cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return to saucepan and cook until thickened. Pour custard through the strainer and stir into the milk. Chill thoroughly before freezing in the ice cream maker.

Once churned, fold in mini chocolate chips.

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