Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jul 23, 2013

Mint Julep Ice Cream

Libations used: 1 1/2 Tbs bourbon...
Libations left over: None, but make yourself an actual mint julep because it's going to take about a day to make this...
When the weather gets hotter, all I crave during the summer is fruit, heirloom tomatoes, cocktails and ice cream.  I've become hooked on making my own ice cream now, thanks to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home.  This girl has nailed it, and her recipes are fun, creative and delicious.  I decided to take her Backyard Mint Ice Cream and jazz it up a little by adding some bourbon to make it taste like a mint julep.  And yes, I was baller and used Four Roses.  If you're not cooking off bourbon, then use the good stuff.  I picked up some fresh mint from Maggie's Farms at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.  Their Maggie's mint is a combination of chocolate mint and spearmint, and it's to die for.  I ended up making two batches of this stuff, because let's face it — a quart goes fast.

Mint Julep Ice Cream - makes about 1 quart
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs light corn syrup
  • A nice, large handful of fresh mint, with leaves roughly torn into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbs of bourbon (I used Four Roses)
- In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 2 Tbs of the milk to make a slurry (a fancy name for a cornstarch and liquid mixture).
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt.
- In a 4 quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the slurry.
- Return to the heat and bring to a boil.
- Stir with a heatproof spatula until it has slightly thickened, for about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese, until it's smooth.
- Add the mint and bourbon.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge it in the ice bath.
- Let the mixture stand until cold, adding more ice if necessary, for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the ice bath and put in the fridge to let the mint steep for 4-12 hours.
- Cut an edge off the Ziploc bag and pour the mixture into a strainer over a bowl to get out the mint - I still left some pieces in there.
- Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer instructions, but basically, spin until's all thick and creamy.
- Pack the ice cream into a freezer storage container and press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface.
- Seal and place in the back of your freezer until it's firm, about 4-6 hours.