This weekend when I went out to my garden the mint was going absolutely nuts. I have two varieties - chocolate mint and peppermint. Both are taking over with vigor, so it was already time for a major haircut.
The chocolate mint has faint hints of chocolate both on the nose and the palate and is great for desserts - this weekend I made two quarts of mint ice cream and served it with the first four strawberries from the garden. It is a beautiful deep green color, similar to green tea ice cream. It's a great way to end the evening.
And the peppermint, of course, is good for Mojitos. We served them not too strong - a great way to start the evening.
- 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
- Juice of 6-8 limes
- 3-4 shots (1/2 cup - 3/4 cup) light rum
- 8 oz cold club soda or seltzer water
- A few spalshes of dark rum (optional)
Bruise mint with sugar with a mortar and pestle (or in a ceramic bowl with the back of a wooden spoon). Squeeze limes into a serving pitcher, dropping in the rinds. Add the bruised mint, rum, ice cubes and club soda or selzer. Stir. Garnish with mint tops and/or a splash of dark rum. (Thanks, Jenny D.!)
Garden Mint Ice Cream Makes about 1 pint
- 1 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
In a blender blend cream, milk, and mint until mint is finely chopped. In a saucepan bring cream mixture just to a boil and cool 15 minutes. Whisk in egg and sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and about 170°f on a candy or meat thermometer. (Do not let boil or it will curdle.)
Pour custard through a fine sieve or strainer into a bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap so that it is not exposed to air and chill until cold, at least 3 hours. Can be made to this step up to a day ahead.
Freeze custard in an ice cream maker - I recommend the Donvier if you're in an apartment - it's small and works quickly without the fuss of ice and salt.
Transfer ice cream to a container and put in freezer to harden.
To serve, garnish with fresh mint tops, berries, or chopped dark chocolate.
Enjoy making it. Enjoy eating it. skgr