Monday, May 05, 2008

Mint Julep Ice Cream

I recently checked a book out of the library called Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer, a restauranteer in New Orleans. I thought I didn't care much for Creole cuisine, but this book intrigued me, and I was pleasantly surprised. So far I've tried two recipes, both of which I've been happy with. This is called Mint Julep Ice Cream, and I decided to make it in honor of the (rather depressing) Kentucky Derby this past weekend.

First, we start with fresh mint from the porch. This is already an improvement on the Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe I tried before, because it doesn't call for stemming the leaves, which saves a LOT of time. Plus, I didn't have to steam and cool multiple times - only once. I must say that there was slightly less mint taste to this recipe than the other one

While the mint and cream/half-and-half mixture is cooling, I whisked the sugar and egg yolks together.

Here's the mint and cream mixture, ready to be strained and have the sugar concontion added.

Now the hardest part: you have to cook the custard until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, watching it carefully to make sure you don't overcook and wind up with minty scrambled eggs.

Ready to go in the ice cream freezer...almost there!

The finished product, with shaved semi-sweet chocolate mixed in the last few minutes.

The recipe description states, "My rule of thumb is, 'If something tastes good, it will taste even beter if you turn it into ice cream.'" I tend to agree! Homemade ice cream tends to get even better as it ripens in the freezer, but I'm afraid it will disappear before it reaches its' peak! The bourbon gives it a wonderful flavor and keeps the ice cream soft, but next time I may reduce it just a bit to make it firm up a little more. And I should also mention that I halved this recipe to make 1 quart, because I don't know anyone who has a home ice cream maker that makes 2 quarts. Mmmmmm...

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