I recently splurged on the ice cream maker of my dreams, which immediately became my new favorite toy. I’ve been selling my unwanted clothes on eBay and buying kitchen supplies with the extra cash, which is a pretty good representation of how my interests have changed since I started this blog. (My clothes still fit, if that’s what you’re wondering!)
Remember my spearmint from a couple of months back? The spearmint makes its recipe début today along with my first ice cream recipe, of which there will be many more. Mint lends such a refreshing quality to cool drinks and frozen treats that it seemed the perfect choice for ice cream. When I found a recipe for mint ice cream in my mom’s May 2010 issue of Cooking Light, I knew I had to try it.
I made several adjustments to the magazine’s instructions and ended up with delicately flavored, light mint ice cream. My recipe calls for 2% milk, turbinado sugar, and only two egg yolks, compared to more typical recipes that use tons of cream, cups and cups of sugar, and six eggs.
The end result is light and slightly icy like sorbet, but as sweet and satisfying as gelato. The mint flavor tastes like the real deal, because it is. For once, I recommend against topping this dessert with chocolate. It overwhelms the flavor.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart 1x
- Category: Dessert
A delicately flavored, light ice cream made with real mint and all-natural ingredients. Perfect for hot summer days.
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 20 fresh mint leaves
- ¾ cups turbinado (raw) sugar
- dash of salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Combine milk, half-and-half and mint leaves in a medium sized, heavy sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge (which should be about 180 degrees). Do not let it boil!
- Remove from heat, cover and let stand for ten minutes. That gives the mint flavor time to steep.
- Uncover it and pour the mixture through a colander into a medium bowl. Press the mint leaves slightly with a big spoon to get all the flavor. Discard the leaves, and pour the liquid back into your pan.
- In a new bowl, combine sugar, salt and egg yolks. Stir with a whisk until the mixture is pale.
- Gradually add half of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, while stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk.
- Cook over medium-low heat for about two minutes (or to 160 degrees), stirring constantly.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Place the bowl in the fridge until the mixture cools completely, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you’d like the ice cream to harden up a little more, freeze it for a couple of hours.
- Adapted from Cooking Light.
- I originally advised adding a couple of tablespoons of vodka to the cream mixture per David Lebovitz‘s suggestion, but it turns out you don’t need any in this recipe. It’s scoopable straight from the freezer, without any extra help from alcohol.
- Yields roughly 1 quart of frozen ice cream.
▸ Nutrition Information
The magazine says that this basic, light custard recipe tastes great with other flavors, like ginger, cinnamon or coconut. I can’t wait to try the rest!
Umm your version should be in Cooking Light. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!! You continue to amaze me. Not to mention, mint ice cream is my favorite. I’m also a big fan of eBay!
Thanks, Heather! Cooking Light’s photo of the ice cream was pretty blah, if I say so myself. Let’s hear it for eBay!
I have spearmint, peppermint, and something called “chocolate mint” which actually tastes like chocolate mint, I need you to drive to Tulsa right now with that little ice cream machine of yours and make me some please! – jes
I can’t come right now, but I’m bringing my ice cream maker when I do! Can’t wait to see your new house and to steal some fresh herbs from your garden!
Chocolate mint is my absolute FAVORITE to make mint and mint chocolate chip ice cream with!
This recipe is amazing. So much easier and a nicer texture than 6 eggs. Love it!
Stunning photos! And lovely recipe! I like that it’s a little on the lighter side. Plus, I have plenty of fresh mint on my hands!
OMG! That looks sooo good! I love the vanilla and mint combo :) Stunning photos…
such a yummy post and lovely pics too
That looks so yummy and sounds super refreshing, too! I love the little tray you have it on in the first pic.
Thank you! I got the tray at my favorite local flea market. :)
Love the photos. I want to make this for friends and wanted to know when you add the vanilla? I didn’t see it listed in the instructions. Also, if I wanted to add vodka, should I do this while it’s chilling in the fridge or add it right before I place it in the ice cream maker? Thanks!
Hey Janie! Mix in the vodka before you pour it into the ice cream maker. I don’t think the vodka is necessary for this recipe, but it’s up to you!
Oops! Nevermind about the vanilla. Sorry, I don’t have my glasses on and skipped a line, argh.
Tripled and used fresh chocolate mint, growing in gobs, and subed 3 cups of whole lactaid for my lactos intolerant hub, and it turned out incredible!
So happy to hear you both enjoyed the ice cream, Kerri! I’m glad to know that lactaid can be substituted for the milk. Thank you for commenting!
Chris in Australia
The recipe looks great, I love that it’s light and I would really like to try it. I have lots of mint in my garden, but I don’t have an ice cream maker. Could it be done by hand? I have a Kenwood mixmaster??
Great question, Chris. Do you have a food processor? Here’s a technique for making ice cream in a food processor: http://www.thekitchn.com/video-how-to-make-ice-cream-in-a-food-processor-171649. I’m not sure if the mixer will work, but here are some other ideas to explore: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-124210. Hope these links help! The mint ice cream is really so good.
do you know if cutting up the leaves would help make it taste stronger. (this is my first visit to your site and I must say I’m impressed).
Hi Tabi, that is a good idea. I bet giving the mint a few chops with a chef’s knife would help release the flavor.
thank you for responding so quickly Kate:) I’ll try it out and see how it works.
Hi, I was just wondering what model etc. your ice cream maker is. Thanks.
Hey Jeremy, I’m sorry for my delayed response. I use the Cuisinart ICE-30BC ice cream maker and really love it. Cuisinart also makes a 1.5 quart ice cream maker that is a little less expensive.
I would love to add some chocolate chunks/chips too!! I’ve tried a few brands and they always feel so hard compared to the ones that come in ice creams that I buy at the store… Do you have a recommendation for chocolate chips?
Good question, Paula! I think that chocolate chips are just too large and will freeze into hard chunks. I’d suggest buying a chocolate bar and chopping it into fine pieces with a chef’s knife. Hope that works!
I’m sorry but could you tell me, please, what the half-and-half is? I live in the Czech Republic and I don’t know what does it mean. Thank you :-)
Hi, that is a good question. Half-and-half is a milk product with about 12.5 percent butterfat content. Maybe you can find something similar in the Czech Republic? One resource I found online says you can make half-and-half by combining four parts whole milk with one part heavy cream.
Thank you so much! I used a coffee cream (about 12 percent) and the ice cream is delicious. The whole family asks for recipe! I really enjoy browsing your pages and I also hope that you’ll continue being such a god cook :-)
Thank you, Barča! I’ll try to keep the good recipes coming. :)
Oh my giddy aunt; this recipe is so divine I fear I will spend the rest of my evening on the living room floor eating it straight from the ice cream maker. Ahhhhhhhhh, thank you!
Kate, so glad you’re loving the ice cream! It’s been too long since I had some myself.
Your ice cream maker is a 2 quart. If I have the 1.5 do I need to alter the recipe?
Hey Stephanie, I don’t think this recipe yields more than 1.5 quarts. You should be good to go!
How much would you say this yields? Like say if I wanted to make it for a party, how much would I need?
Hi Mau, I believe the recipe yields about 1.5 quarts of ice cream, which is equivalent to a small tub of ice cream at the store. Not sure how many people are coming to your party so it’s hard for me to say!
Actually, after looking at the recipe more thoroughly, I think it yields about a quart, or six servings of 1/2 cup each.
can i just freeze the mixture? i dont own an ice cream maker… :(
Hey Samira, no, just freezing the mixture will turn it into a big chunk of creamy ice. Here are a couple of methods that might work for this ice cream (I haven’t tried them): how to make ice cream with a food processor (tips from Jeni Britton) and how to make ice cream without a machine (by David Lebovitz).
Thank you :)
Awesome pictures I love mint and ice cream so I will like this food
I’ve made this 3 times now. Everyone loves it, particularly my 3 year old.
Hooray! Thank you, Amy!
If I used 35% cream, what would be the difference (besides obviously a higher fat content)? Most ice cream recipes I find require more egg yolks but I like your recipe and was just curious if using cream would affect the consistency of the finished product. Thanks!
Hi Lissa, I think that would work fine, but I have found that ice cream recipes with too much fat can have a strange, borderline chewy texture. That’s the risk here.
I thought you might like to know that this mint ice cream has become our family’s all time favorite. My husband called me from the grocery store today to ask what ingredients we would need to make it for our July 4th celebration tomorrow. To my surprise I could quote him the recipe without looking it up, even though this will be the first time we’ll be making it this summer. It’s so light and fresh, deliciously creamy, and extremely satisfying. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to our family’s food traditions – I can’t wait to have some tomorrow!
Joanne, that’s fantastic to hear! Thank you for letting me know. :)
Hello! I am trying your recipe with a few changes my daughter asked for . no vanilla, more mint and all cream. I’ll let you know how it works out!
This recipe works great! I think I may have used twice as many mint leaves, just because I had them on hand. I was nervous because other ice cream custard recipes mentioned that the liquid should thicken after adding the eggs and heating, but mine still seemed pretty light. It turned out not to matter the ice cream machine did the job anyway! I added some chopped up dark chocolate towards the last couple of minutes. Hooray for fresh MINT!
This recipie would have been great if it worked. Total waste of time and money. Very disappointing.
Again, what can I substitute for eggs?
Me and my boyfriend tried a homemade mint ice cream in a small Austrian village and when we returned back to the city we couldn’t stop thinking about that great taste! So I found your recipe and guess what! My ice cream turned out even better than the one in that village. Long story short – this mint ice cream is DIVINE! Thanks for the recipe – making it at this very moment and need to go back to wisking the egg yolks :P
You’re welcome! I’m glad it not only reminded you of the village but is even better. Thank you, Viki for your review.
Jennifer Garner is a fan! https://www.instagram.com/p/BsOkfI4FxIW/
I saw that! :)
Your 1x 2x 3x button is amazing!! Thank you!!
I’m happy you find it helpful!
I’m in the uk and can only get 1.8% milk or 3.8%. Which would work best?
I would recommend the fuller fat version to make sure it gets creamy! Let me know how it works for you.
The ice cream was delish! I’m wondering if in the 2 minutes of the second cooking, I should wait for it to thicken?
Made this recipe but with heavy cream instead of half and half. Best Ice Cream I have had in a very long time.
Great, Mike! Thanks for your review.
Our ice cream did not thicken in the ice cream machine and we followed the recipe exactly. We make ice cream all the time and never had this happen.
Finally! A fantastic recipe that I can uses all my end of the summer spearmint!! Thank you – it’s making this hot August night wonderful.
You’re welcome, Susan!
Gloria P Rohmann
Absolutely delicious. I added an extra egg yolk, just because…also used whole milk and regular cane sugar. I couldn’t believe how minty this tasted using just chopped mint from my garden.
I made this as my first ice cream ever and it turned out great! I love the lighter texture; it’s perfect for hot summer days. I added about a teaspoon of lavender buds, strained out with the mint leaves, and they complement the mint flavor really well.
This wasn’t minty enough to my liking, so I added a capful of peppermint extract. I also added crushed chocolate wafer cookies. The taste was delicious but it came out kind of slushy and icy. It was my first time making ice cream, so I’m not sure if it was because of me, the recipe, or my machine. I wonder if the lower fat content in this recipe is partly why it came out more icy than creamy.
I have come back to this recipe for maybe like the 16th time. This is my very picky son’s favorite ice cream. I have a productive chocolate mint plot in my yard and it is such a fun way to use this wonderful plant. Very nice recipe! Thank you!
Icecream is very tasty. We left to cool overnight and I mixed the leaves into it in the morning. Added a sprinkle of tiny chocolate chips, splash of mint essence and used 1/2 cup sugar (will use less next time).
Only issue my icecream maker wasn’t able to turn anymore after about 25 minutes, not sure which part of the i gredients got too sticky as the mixture wasn’t properly frozen yet.
Thanks you for sharing and your feedback! I’m sorry you had issues with your ice cream maker, but glad you loved the taste!
Thank you for posting a mint ice cream recipe using mint leaves and no food coloring. Looks absolutely sublime. I will making this to serve with a seeded chocolate ganache. I can’t wait to serve it for a dinner party.
You’re welcome, Lisa! Thank you for your review.