Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Late in the summer I make fresh mint ice cream. The flavor of the mint cooked in custard is so intense, it tastes salty to me. Charleston’s master confectioner, Mark Gray, tells me the high sodium content of fresh mint accounts for that. I balance out the intensity of the mint by adding roughly cut bits of bittersweet chocolate to the ice cream.


  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 quart milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ pound roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate


Add the mint leaves to the milk and scald the milk. In a large stainless- steel mixing bowl that will fit over a boiling water bath—or in the top of a stainless-steel double boiler, beat the egg yolks and sugar until well mixed and lightly colored. Gradually add the hot milk and mint and cook over hot water, stirring frequently, until a custard is formed—until the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (about 20 minutes). Cool, then chill.

When the custard is cold, strain out the mint leaves and any solids through a fine sieve, then freeze it in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the mixture is softly frozen, fold in the chocolate, then pack the ice cream to freeze for about 2 hours.