Mint Chip Ice Cream

Good amount for the average home ice cream maker. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sugar 
2 cups milk
6-8 sprigs fresh mint (I like spearmint or chocolate mint)
5 egg yolks
2 cups cream
4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped

METHOD

1. Whisk together egg yolks in a medium/large mixing bowl.

2. Set a heavy medium saucepan over moderately low heat and add milk, sugar, and mint. Heat until steaming but not boiling, lower heat and stir until sugar is dissolved (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20-30 minutes.

3. Reheat the mixture to steaming. Ladle about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly.  This is called TEMPERING.  Whisk a few more ladles into the eggs and keep whisking. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk, still whisking away.  Set over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly (I like to use a heat resistant spatula at this point, or an odor-free wooden spoon), until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon (finger drawn across spoon will leave clear path) - it should take about 5 to 6 minutes. Strain into large bowl and stir in heavy cream. Chill until cold, either in an ice bath or overnight in the refrigerator.

Note:  If your heat was too high and the eggs curdled or cooked, just toss the whole thing and start over. There’s no way to save it.

4. When ready to freeze, strain the mixture once more.  Process cold cream base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  Add the chopped chocolate during last minute of churning. Transfer to airtight container, cover well and freeze until hard, about 3 hours.