I have a vivid memory of eating mint ice cream while sitting on a stool at the counter of the bar-cum-cafeteria in the small town where I spent my early childhood. It must have been before 1989 because goodness knows ice cream was pretty much nonexistent in Cuba after that, especially outside Havana.
It was then that my love of mint ice cream started, a love that, as I came to find out, would go unrequited for decades. Even in the United States
Think of all the mint ice cream you have ever had. I am willing to bet that it had chocolate in it in some way, shape, or form. Come to it, most mint sweets, aside from candy cane, after-dinner mints at restaurants, and breath mints are covered in chocolate. York Peppermint Patties, Junior Mints, Aero bars, Thin Mints, After Eight, and the list goes on.
As someone who likes mint but does not like chocolate, this is quite annoying and limiting. I suppose I could pick the chocolate chips off commercial ice cream (I do that with Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, do not judge me), but that’s just wrong and time consuming.
So, what’s a mint ice cream lover to do when she’s been craving plain mint ice cream? Make it, of course!
I hadn’t made ice cream in as long as I’ve lived in NYC, which is two and a half years, and it was time.
I considered making a custard-based ice cream infused with fresh mint, but ultimately decided to go with a simple Philadelphia-style ice cream and mint extract. Philadelphia-style ice cream is made without eggs; the cream, milk, and flavorings are mixed and churned. That’s it.
So, here it is.
Easy Mint Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup skim (2%) milk
1 cup condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
a few drops of green food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl or large measuring cup, mix all the ingredients until well combined. Cover with plastic film or a plate, and refrigerate until chilled. Overnight is best, but at least a few hours.
Freeze your ice cream following the instructions of your ice cream machine. Mine takes about 25 to 30 minutes to churn.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze until solid, approximately 2 hours.
Makes 1 quart
That’s it, easy peasy.
You can, of course, make this without an ice cream machine. To do so, just follow the instructions in this recipe.
Even though the point of this ice cream for me was to not have chocolate in it, you can still please chocolate lovers. You can either throw in some chocolate chips towards the end of the churning process, or, like I did, buy chocolate sauce and let those who want chocolate help themselves.