We all have that one ice cream flavor that continually has the ability to transport us to younger, summer days. The flavor we chose as our reward for, perhaps, nothing more than being a kid.
As an adult, that very same ice cream flavor reminds us of days when our biggest decisions were the vessel to hold the ice cream - cup, sugar cone, waffle cone - and our most stressful moments were in not allowing a single drop of ice cream to escape down the side of the cone.
When I asked Mike to reveal his favorite childhood ice cream flavor, he adamantly answered, "Mint chocolate chip." No question.
Since he has been particularly sweet and supportive these past few weeks, I decided to spin a homemade version of his beloved mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Real mint was steeped overnight in the ice cream base, providing a freshness not achieved by mint extract, which is normally used in commercial versions of this ice cream.
I was a bit concerned this difference may be a disappointment for my official taste tester.
But my fears were laid to rest upon Mike's first bite, as he smiled and drew his bowl of ice cream protectively closer, "Move over Baskin Robins, I don't need you anymore!"
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
from Dolcetto Confections | Allison M. Veinote
makes about 1 pint
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup (about 1 bunch) packed mint, stems removed
Green food coloring, if desired
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
Whisk egg yolks and a little bit of granulated sugar together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Combine remaining sugar, cream, milk and mint leaves together in a medium saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring mixture to a boil.
When mixture is boiling, remove from heat. Whisking constantly, ladle about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into egg yolks. Continue until hot milk mixture is fully incorporated into yolks.
Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat , stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until nappe: when custard coats the back of a wooden spoon and retains a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger (see photo above, for example).
Chill custard overnight.
The following day, blend custard in food processor (or use stick blender). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Whisk green food coloring into custard, if desired.
Freeze custard according to manufacturer's instructions. Fold mini-chocolate chips into freshly spun ice cream. Freeze at least 4 hours.