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!

  • 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*


  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    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.

  • 04

    *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.