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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Backyard Mint Ice Cream Cooking View

Guys, this is big news. And by big, I mean actually utterly unimportant to anyone but me.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you may be aware of my lifelong dislike for mint. As a kid (and still as an adult), I found practically every dessert or sweet combining mint and chocolate to be pretty offensive.  Similar to nuts mixed into a brownie or chocolate chip cookie (WHY?!)  Mint ice cream in particular just seemed wrong to me.

Despite these strong feelings, I have grown mint in my garden for many years because I do enjoy the smell of fresh mint. Once or twice I added it to a pitcher of citrus water for a party and found it to be tolerable and maybe even nice. Then I realized mojitos are actually pretty awesome, and that was when I realized that no, I don’t dislike all mint. I dislike the artificial flavor that masquerades as “mint” in so many desserts and candies.  Suddenly it became clear – mint ice cream made with the fresh herb straight from the garden is a completely different thing.  I decided to give it a try and you know what? It’s kind of incredible.

The sweet cream base with the bright herbal notes of the mint is a winning combination.  Ben looked at me as if I had grown a third head when I explained that I was not adding chocolate to the ice cream, at least not this time. I wanted to try it in its pure form before going there.  I like it so much that I find it hard to imagine adding chocolate, and it surprises me to think that I will most definitely make this again and again. If you have this unstoppable, hardy weed-like herb growing at your place, I highly recommend giving this a try!

Backyard Mint Ice Cream
Yield: about 1 quart


  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1½ oz. (3 tbsp.) cream cheese, softened
  • A large handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly torn*
Cooking View


  • In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons of the milk, the cream, salt, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and let boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.

  • Transfer the mixture to a container with the torn mint leaves. Chill thoroughly on an ice bath or in the refrigerator. Let the mint leaves steep 4-12 hours.

  • Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the mint leaves. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a storage container and freeze until ready to serve.

  • *Use whatever variety of mint you prefer. I think mine is a type of spearmint, though I’m not completely sure. Peppermint would also be good, or you can play around with other fresh herbs as well.


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