Over the summer I bought an ice cream maker, and I've tried making several different flavors in it. (Check out the chocolate, vanilla, and peach that I made!) Even though Joe isn't a big fan of peppermint ice cream, I decided to make some because a). the recipe in the owner's manual for my fabulous Cuisinart ice cream freezer looked unusual and intriguing; and b). it called for fresh mint leaves, and I have a mint plant in a pot on my deck that someone gave me and I haven't used it much.
PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup chopped peppermint patties (about 10 to 12 bite-size patties)
1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, bring the milk just to a boil. Remove from heat and add the mint leaves; let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. If you desire a milder mint flavor, strain and discard the mint leaves after steeping, but for a more intense ice cream, blend the milk/mint mixture using an immersion blender.
2. Add the sugar and salt to the steeped milk/mint mixture. Use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate, 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Turn on the Cuisinart ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the chopped candy through the top and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.