I’m not sure if you know this, but Ohio is where it’s at for ice cream. We have Graeter’s Ice Cream, which was founded in 1870 in Cincinnati. And I’m guessing they have pints all over the place, right? And Columbus is home to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which has been around since 2002 and has made crazy big strides since then (Chicago, you’re welcome). On any given summer weekend (and sometimes even in winter), there is a line of people out the door of Jeni’s.
My husband and I have battles about which ice cream is better. He’s a Graeter’s guy through and through. I don’t blame him. Graeter’s is cheaper and has classic flavors like Strawberry and Cookies ‘n Cream and a bazillion different chocolate chip flavors. I could probably eat my weight in their Black Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream. But then I would probably double my weight in doing so, and then would be trapped in an eating-my-weight-in-ice-cream/gaining-weight cycle. Just eating ice cream on and on into infinity.
That was weird.
I have a special spot in my heart for Graeter’s because my family would go there all the time when I was younger. One of the locations is near a little pond where there were geese, so we would sit outside among the goose poop and eat our ice cream cones. Ahh, summer.
But, despite all that, I still am partial to Jeni’s. I love her innovative flavors that my husband thinks are “gimmicky.” Absinthe + Meringues? It’s like you’re eating Moulin Rouge. She puts cheese in some of her ice creams! I mean. Really? I love you.
I’m also a fan because Jeni’s is devoted to using fresh, local ingredients. I’m willing to shell out the extra cash for that. I tried to channel Jeni when making this mint ice cream by using Snowville Creamery milk and cream (the same dairy products Jeni’s uses), and local honey. And you can’t get more local than picking mint out of your own backyard and popping it in there.
I was shocked when trying this ice cream for the first time because the flavor is so herbal and not at all like the mint ice cream you get in stores. When I strained out the mint, the scent was super pungent and I had my doubts. The mint mellowed out a little as it froze and allowed some of the honey flavor to come through, thankfully.
Gosh. Then my husband and I topped it with dark chocolate shavings. Not necessary. It’s good with or without. I didn’t want to put chocolate into the ice cream because I don’t always want that, okay? Don’t look at me like that, chocolate!
Seriously, fresh mint blows artificial mint flavor out of the water. I wanted a strong mint flavor, because I don’t do moderation, so I steeped it in the milk overnight after cooking. If you want a more mild mint flavor because you’re weak, you can take the mint leaves out before chilling the milk.
Your mint ice cream will probably taste different than mine, depending what mint you have consuming your garden (seriously, that stuff takes over). I’m no mint expert, but I think I used a mix of apple and pineapple mint. Maybe you gardening gurus can identify it by my pictures. You smarties.
Today is Memorial Day, so I’ll be spending it with family and Food. (Yeah, me and Food hangsies. It’s whatever.) I hope you all have a wonderful ice cream filled holiday!
- 3 cups (700 grams) heavy cream
- 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
- ½ cup (170 grams) honey
- 1 cup (25 g) coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2 egg yolks
- In a large saucepan, whisk together cream and milk. Heat over medium heat until cream mixture starts to bubbly slightly. Stir in the honey until it dissolves. Remove from heat.
- Roll the chopped mint leaves lightly between your hands to release the oils before adding them to the cream mixture. Cut vanilla bean in half and add to cream mixture; leaving the seeds intact. (Alternatively, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and stir.) Cover the pot and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a large lidded container. For a subtler mint flavor, strain out the mint and vanilla bean now. For stronger flavor, leave them in. Chill cream for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When cold, remove cream mixture from the refrigerator, straining out mint and vanilla bean if necessary, and whisk in egg yolks. Pour cream into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. In my ice cream maker*, this took about 25 minutes. Transfer to lidded containers and freeze until firm.
- *This is the machine I use and love, but I do get commission if you buy it through this link!