There was a time in my childhood when my sister and I pretended to be twins. We are two years apart, but at that time were similarly sized. Our mother made us matching dresses and a kind neighbor lady made our dolls matching dresses out of the fabric remnants. Even though we don't look identical, we'd often get asked if we were twins. This made us smile and giggle at our shared secret.
We share many things these days. We're both married, have kids, and have a passion for baking. One of my favorite ways to pass an afternoon is to get together with her and try out a new recipe. Unfortunately, one thing we don't share is the same state. So it was that with a combination of dread for the 14 hour drive and elation at seeing my relatives again that I packed my kids and enough gear to lead a polar expedition into my van and set off.
It was a wonderful visit. Besides lots of laughing, sharing, and shopping at the thrift store, we made ice cream. I'd taken along my copy of The Perfect Scoop and we decided on the fresh mint ice cream, since she had tons of mint growing. Also, she's a huge fan of Peppermint Patties, so we made those to stir in. I thought her mint looked odd, different from the mint in my neck of the woods, but it wasn't until we'd made the ice cream and tasted it that we realized it was spearmint. Tossing back and forth names for the ice cream we looked at each other and said in unison, "Double Mint Ice Cream!"
If you like mint, this is the ice cream for you. Smooth creamy ice cream, redolent with fresh spearmint flavor, laced with chunks of heavenly peppermint patties. Share it with a kindred spirit and double your pleasure!
Double Mint Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups (80 g) lightly packed fresh spearmint leaves
5 large egg yolks
If your spearmint is fresh from your garden, rinse it under cold water, pat dry, and spin in a salad spinner, if you have one.
In a small saucepan warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, and salt. Add the spearmint leaves and stir until they're immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pour the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, pressing on the leaves with a rubber spatula to extract the most flavor. Discard the leaves. Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.
Rewarm the mint-infused mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to chill completely.
Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the last minutes of freezing, stir in chopped up peppermint patties. I made mine according to the recipe in The Perfect Scoop, but it is no violation of ice cream ordinances to buy and chop up York Peppermint Patties.