Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mint Oreo Ice Cream

I'm back! I'm so sorry I left you for so long. It's been the most hectic month. I saw some of you this past weekend and the general consensus is that you're sick of seeing the planter every time you check out the Fox Fix.

If I may offer some excuses- we packed up our house and shoved everything in our new one and spent a long weekend at Spencer and Liz's wedding and I had the worst case of poison ivy EVER. (I have no idea where I could've gotten the poison ivy, which is pretty scary. I feel like it could get me again at any time. My left eye and forehead swelled up so bad I looked like one of the aliens in the movie Avatar. Thus, in addition to everything else, I was also on steroids this month. Lemme tell you, I was a real joy to be around.)

We're now living surrounded by boxes. Our new place is about half the size of the old one, especially if you consider that we had a basement before where shoved everything we didn't want around. So slowly, slowly we're moving things around and unpacking. It's like trying to solve a rubiks cube, this place is so packed with stuff.

I'll share one before picture with you, just so you're duly impressed when the after pictures come in who knows how many weeks or months. Our mattress is on our couches in the middle room and is an oasis where we hang out, sleep and have meals.

What's that you say? This is a food blog? Oh, right. I'm supposed to share a recipe with you.

I actually have about 15 different posts that have been building up over this month, because I haven't stopped making things (only stopped showing up here), so I'm going to make an effort to post every day this week to try to catch up. So stay tuned!

If I may be so bold...this recipe may actually be worth the wait. It's Mint Oreo Ice Cream, based on a recipe from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. Made with fresh mint, it is perfectly creamy and utter bliss. It's pretty much convinced me that I will always make custard style ice cream. It's definitely worth the extra effort.

And speaking of worth-it things, if you have any interest at all in making ice cream, you need to buy The Perfect Scoop. It's chock-full of fantastic tips and explanations and recipes, from ice creams to sorbet to gelato to sauces and beyond. Lebovitz's blog is excellent and full of recipes, too.

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the mint leaves, cover the pot, and remove it from heat. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour to infuse the mint flavor into the milk mixture.

Strain the milk into a medium saucepan; discard the leaves. Depending on your mint, your milk might be a lovely shade of green. Mine was just barely tinted. Take a sip- mint milk! Pour the other cup of cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top. If you want to speed the cooling process that will need to happen later, you can put this bowl of cream into a larger bowl of ice.

Re-warm the mint-milk. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the mint milk into the yolks, whisking all the time. This stabilizes them so they don't curdle immediately when heated in the pot. Pour the yolk-mint-milk back into the pot.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Here is where I screwed up- I forgot I wasn't making pastry cream or something, and I boiled the milk. And it it curdled. So don't boil the milk- it needs to reach a temperature of about 175, but much higher and the eggs will curdle.

However, if you like me scramble your eggs, don't lose hope. Do what I did and put the warm liquid in a blender and run til smooth. Then you're back on track.

Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream bowl and stir until cool over the ice bath.

Then chill until absolutely cool in the refrigerator. If you try to churn too-warm custard, the final product's texture will be off. So be patient! And when it's cool, just freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. OR this icecream does perfectly well if you just put it in your freezer and stir it every half hour or so, more often at the end. So if you're planning to be at home for the night, this is a perfectly viable option.

I added chopped oreos to my mint ice cream, which was very tasty. You could also try chocolate or brownie bits. However, the mint flavor is so fresh and creamy and unlike store bought (nasty green overpowering mint extract) icecream, that you could definitely enjoy it with no add-ins.

I'm very impatient for an excuse to make this bliss again. Come visit and we'll make ice cream!

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