Jeni’s Backyard Mint Ice Cream

jeni's backyard mintEven though I missed posting this recipe for National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, doesn’t mean you should miss making this ice cream.  It has a nice, subtle mint flavor that is perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.  And since it’s expected to go upwards of 90 degrees in Chicago today, I see no reason why you shouldn’t make yourself some!  If you don’t have time to make this though, go get yourself a couple of scoops at Jeni’s newest outpost in Chicago on Southport and Roscoe.  I had the pleasure of going there a couple of weeks ago.  I tried the Roasted Cherry and Goat Cheese, and a Browned Butter with Almond Brittle.  Seriously, “browned butter” – how could you not order that?!  Both were fantastic, and I have definitely put them on my list to make because both recipes are in her cookbook!

It’s a great way to use up some of that mint you have growing out of control in your backyard right now.  By the way, it is always a good idea to grow that mint in a container, because it WILL take over your garden if you do not.  This ice cream actually had such a subtle mint flavor, I might increase the amount I use the next time.  I let mine steep in the milk/cream mixture overnight, but feel free to adjust that to your own personal preferences or time constraints.  This ice cream would also be great with some dark chocolate thrown into it!  I have found that there is nothing wrong with adding chocolate to most ice cream flavors. :)

Jeni’s Backyard Mint, from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Backyard Mint Ice Cream


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves (or more, depending on your minty preference)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the chopped mint. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. (or refrigerate overnight)

Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker, pressing the mint leaves with the back of a spoon to extract all of the flavor, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.

Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the mint ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

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Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

malted vanilla pretzel ice creamIce cream month continues!  If you like a more decadent ice cream flavor, this one is for you. Salty pretzel and sweet peanut butter and chocolate, mixed with the earthiness of the malt powder…mmmm.  This recipe has a little bit of everything!

The ice cream base is actually one of my favorites too.  Don’t be scared away by an egg yolk based ice cream.  Once you make a few recipes, you’ll have a good feel of time, temperature and look of the custard so you get it right.  I have made several recipes now from this cookbook, and they have all turned out wonderfully.  But the ice cream base is a great recipe to use when creating your own flavors.  There are a lot of unique flavors in Bi-Rite Creamery’s book, but I always like to put my own spin on things to suite both my taste and what I have (or don’t have) in my pantry.  Ice cream is an easy thing to put your own spin on, especially when it comes to mix-ins!  It’s easy to change up any recipe by throwing in some chopped nuts, cookies, chocolates, fruit, etc.  The flavor combinations are endless!

Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels


  • 5 lg. egg yolks
  • ½ c. malted milk powder (such as Carnation)
  • 1¾ c. heavy cream
  • ¾ c. 1 or 2 percent milk
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, chopped


In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk yolks just to break them up, then whisk in malted milk powder. Set aside.

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together cream, milk, sugar, and salt and put the pan over medium-high heat. When mixture approaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about ½ c. of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another ½ c. of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir cream in saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

Cook mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1-2 minutes longer.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Add the vanilla to the chilled base and stir until blended.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions; chill the container you’ll use to store the ice cream in the freezer. Add the pretzels in the last minute or so of churning, or fold them in by hand after the ice cream comes out of the machine. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to a container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

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Recipe adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, makes about one quart.

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Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet – the perfect summer dessert!

roasted strawberry buttermilk sherbetDid you know that July is National Ice Cream month?  I do not need a specifically designated month to celebrate my love of ice cream.  I have always had an intense love of ice cream, and I like to enjoy it all year round.  Even in the dead of winter, I will get a hankering for the stuff and drag out my ice cream maker to whip up a batch.  With this particularly chilly winter, and while being pregnant, I discovered a warm way to enjoy ice cream: the Oberweis latte.  That’s right, they make them with ICE CREAM!  So creamy and delicious.  Definitely not a post-baby indulgence while I’m trying to get back into shape though!

Since owning an ice cream maker, I’ve come a long way in my ice cream making abilities.  I used to be a little put off by recipes with egg yolks, but now I have a go-to base recipe that I use to whip up batches in no time.  The creaminess you get from using eggs in your ice cream base just does not compare with those quick recipes I used to use!

This recipe does not require you to cook any egg yolks, but you do have to take that extra step to roast the strawberries.  It is so worth it though!  The sweetness of the strawberries pairs perfectly with the tang of the buttermilk.  And although, sherbet isn’t technically ice cream, this recipe is good enough to celebrate with!

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet, adapted from Epicurious

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet


  • 4 cups strawberries (about 1 pound), hulled, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of kosher salt


Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine strawberries and sugar in a 13x9x2" baking pan, toss to combine. Roast berries, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Puree berries, buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla, and salt in a blender until smooth. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sherbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

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