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Justine's Pineapple-Mint Ice Cream

Yield

Makes about 3 quarts; serves 10 to 12

Justine's, the Memphis restaurant housed in an ivy-covered 19th-century mansion on the banks of the Mississippi River, was the first "fine dining" restaurant in which I ever ate. Famous for its buttery Crabmeat Justine, the restaurant always featured at least one or two homemade ice creams for dessert, often served in scoops piled high in silver bowls on the antique sideboards.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cups lightly packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups canned crushed pineapple in its own juice
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pineapple juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup white creme de menthe
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Shortbread cookies for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high, cooking until the sugar has dissolved. Boil without stirring for about 10 minutes, until it reaches the soft-ball stage (234° to 240°F on a candy thermometer), when a drop forms a soft ball in a cup of cold water. Stir in the mint, and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and let cool.

  2. Pour the mint syrup into a blender, and puree. Strain into a large bowl. Stir in the corn syrup.

  3. Rinse the blender, add the pineapple and pineapple juice, and puree. Add the pineapple puree to the mint syrup mixture along with the milk, cream, crème de menthe, and lemon juice.

  4. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. (In a pinch, I put it in the freezer for an hour.) Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

  5. Scrape the ice cream into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve, scoop into dessert bowls or cups, and garnish with shortbread cookies.

Julia Reed's South