Combine milk, half-and-half, and mint sprigs in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat milk mixture to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing slightly with a wooden spoon; discard solids. Return liquid to pan.
Place sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a bowl; stir with a whisk until pale. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour egg yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture; cook over medium-low heat until a thermometer registers 160° (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until custard cools completely, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain ice water from freezer bucket; repack with salt and ice. Cover with kitchen towels, and let stand 1 hour or until firm. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.
i think this needed another egg yolk and the second cooking step needed to be cooked to a higher temperature... maybe 170 rather than 160. these two steps would have yielded a creamier consistency than the ice-milk, sherbet consistency. it certainly wasn't creamy as the recipe implied. I think CL should go back and re-test this one. The mint flavor was good. i liked the plant-taste, but that could be because we use a lot of mint in our mediterranean diet.
The mint flavor you get is a little interesting as it does have a 'plant' taste. Make sure you use sweet mint and it will be pleasing. It was a subtle flavor but only if you are comparing it to the wicked green artificially flavored stuff that you find in the grocery store. It is smooth and obviously 'light'.
I appreciated reading everyone's reviews- set my expectations properly. For those who said the mint taste was too faint, here's what I did that I'd recommend: Use 1.5 oz of mint, tear the leaves as you put them into the pot with the milk, and then as it's heating use a wooden spoon to grind the leaves a little bit and get all that juice out. Really helped. I also added mini choc chips to mine, which balanced out the very minty flavor (which I'm not sure I love either). Lastly, I did not understand the salt-and-towels step either; I think this may have not worked for the type of ice cream maker I have but not sure. So I froze it in my ice cream maker for 30 min and then stuck in the freezer. The consistency is kind of slushy-- either that's from doing the recipe wrong or just from the fact that low-fat milk was used and ice cream needs lots of fat to get that fantastic consistency. All around an adequate recipe, not sure I'd use again.
Made to recipe using a combo of spearmint & peppermint. Got a lovely pale green custard that froze nicely in the Cuisinart. Very attractive served with a chocolate wafer. (I like making CL ice cream, but if we weren't growing mint or hadn't had another use for half & half this weekend, HÃ¤agen-Dazs Five Mint would have been less expensive & only 20 calories more per serving.)
I wound up adding 1/4 c mint chips to this one because I didn't feel like I was getting enough mint flavor. I added mini chocolate chips and it turned out well. It was good, but I had higher hopes for this recipe. Husband liked it. I would make it again, but would use more mint and macerate it to infuse better flavor.
The magazine suggested to try the recipe with other spices. My 1st attempt with fresh ginger went horribly wrong (milk curdled). The second round came out just fine. I added 1 dash of ground ginger to the milk while preparing it and another just prior to cooling the mix overnight in the fridge. I also added about 1/2 cup of finely chopped candied ginger to ice cream towards the end of the churning.
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