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Mint Chip Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

1 1/2 cups of fresh mint leaves, preferably peppermint

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (non-ultra-pasteurized)

2/3 cup sugar, divided

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (stored in freezer until use)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the mint leaves in a heavy saucepan with the milk. Bring to a bare simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the milk into a bowl and reserve. Clean the saucepan.

Combine the heavy cream, 1/3 cup of the sugar and salt in the clean saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Whisk the yolks with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in a large bowl. When the cream is hot, very gradually pour it into the yolks and sugar, whisking vigorously at the same time so the yolks don't curdle.

When all the cream has been added, return the whole mixture to the saucepan. Heat slowly just to 170 degrees (or when it coats the back of a wooden spoon). Pour into a large metal bowl and add the reserved, mint-flavored milk.

Cool over an ice bath and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 hours.

Churn in an ice cream machine according to instructions. As the churning finishes, add the cold chocolate chips. Freeze 4 hours or overnight.

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