Jeni’s Backyard Mint Ice Cream

jenis 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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