Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thin Mint Ice Cream- Go Girl Scouts!

I hate being sold to. I walk out of stores as soon as someone asks if there is anything they can help me with, and I never ever ever ever buy anything from someone who is selling door to door. Or at work.

With one critical exception- Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. There is no substance on earth quite as divine. This year, when someone at work was selling (well, mentioning loudly in the hall he had girl scout cookies on offer, since we work in a gov't building that doesn't allow any charities but its own), I pounced. I had previously actually ordered Thin Mints on the internet and had them shipped to Singapore when I lived there. I expected to convert the population. Instead I spent four hours explaining the different between scouting and the Hitler Youth. The best I came up with was "well, I think they let Catholics in".

Anyway, I have three boxes in my freezer, and had been patiently waiting for the mint in my garden to get big enough to use my brand spanking new ice cream maker to make what I was sure would be the seminal dessert of our time.

I found a what looked like a great recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream. I figured, shouldn't be a problem to replace the chips with the far more delicious Thin Mints. A whole tube of them. Maybe two tubes. Well, maybe 1 1/2 because someone ate 5 or 6 spoonfuls of the cookie crumbs on the way from the food processor to the ice cream maker.

I used half as much mint, as I didn't want to do in the poor little mint plant. Basically you seep the mint in the milk/cream (make mint milk tea in effect). Then make a custard with 4 egg yolks. Yep, 4. Good stuff, mix in the remaining cream, and throw it in the mixer.

Well, I was disappointed when I took it out of the machine to put it in the freezer to get nice and hard. It was too eggy- for some reason I never like frozen custards as much as I think I will, given the preponderance of ingredients I love (eggs, milk,, sugar). I am curious how different types of egg would taste- maybe free range organic would have a different character since they are not all corn fed and white-y. For more on why this would make a difference, and my the reason I am thinking of driving 4 hours to get eggs like the fancy chefs, check out: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Anyway, I didn't hold high hopes for the ice cream when I dug it out tonight after a long day running around and scooped it out of the 20yr old Ricotta tub that my mom has been using to send me pasta sauce for ages in. Last night's disappointing taste after 30 min of eager waiting for the ice cream machine got the ice cream relegated to a crummy container so it could think about what it had done. This strategy seems to have been effective, quite to the surprise of the shred of rational me left in matters of ice cream. A night in the freezer did the ice cream a world of good. Its as though the mint came into its own over night, the cookies softened just enough to make pretty marbling, and the eggy taste dissipated into the freezer vent (or the ice cube tray, yuk). The flavor was a delicate spearmint, with rich dark chocolate cookie undertones. It scooped like a Baskin-Robbin's ad (did you know that they actually use mashed potatoes for ice cream pics, or so says a food stylist friend of mine).

It was awesome!! And so pretty. I now want to make it last to show it off, but the likelihood of that is about nil. Guess I will just have to convince myself all that slow churning the machine did burned off the calories!


Gina Grace said...

Yum! I do love the Dryers/Edy's version, but will have to try homemade next year (all of my 2009 thin mints have long been eaten). If you're looking for good milk and eggs without the drive to Polygon Farms, I have a recommendation: South Mountain Creamery. They're not "certified organic" but they may as well be. They home deliver all over the DC area and can keep you well stocked in all of your dairy favorites. We used them when were in DC and besides the good milk/eggs etc, I particularly loved that having milk delivered allowed me to go to the grocery store less often. Between the milk delivery and our CSA*, we were pretty much good in terms of produce and dairy all week long, so didn't have to go to the grocery store very often, and when I did, it was just to stock up on staples.

I really, really dislike grocery stores, so this situation made me happy.

* actually, they have eggs too! A great CSA program, but I'm not sure if they're open this year or have drop off's in your area...

Joyce said...

Thanks for the heads up on South Mountain! I will check it out. I hate the store too, and have been looking for a good dairy delivery. My biggest things is finding eggs that are farm raised- since chickens not being commercially fed don't just eat corn all the time, and their diets change significantly throughout the year, chefs making egg rich things (custards, etc) will seek out certain eggs at certain times of year- thus the existence of 'summer meringue'. Most factory famred stuff is all the same, and you miss this seasonal variation :-(

I use Washington's Green Grocer for my veggies- comes right to my door, as local and personal as can bem allows loads of changes to my order, great web interface, no contract.

Absolutely love it