A few years ago, I got an ice cream maker for my birthday. Best. Present. Ever. I love ice cream, but I’m pretty snobby about it and prefer any variety that tastes very homemade. I like to be able to guess the ingredients from the taste and I abhor food coloring (exceptions must be made for mint chocolate chip).
I know that there is such a thing as seasonal food. Like most other people, I’ve been making soups frequently and drinking tea five times every day. But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean I have to stop eating ice cream—in my book, ice cream has no season. It’s one of the best things in the world—Kermit the Frog knows that, and he can’t be wrong, because when are frogs wrong about things? You don’t hear about frogs being wrong. Ice cream is timeless.
As a nod to the season of excessive tea drinking though, I decided to make Earl Grey tea ice cream. I know lots of people like green tea ice cream—I think it’s okay, not fantastic. I’m something of a tea fanatic, and I think there are a lot of teas that are better than green tea—why shouldn’t they be kinds of ice cream too? Exactly: no reason. One of my friends mentioned that she’d had Earl Grey ice cream at a restaurant, so obviously other people have been thinking along the same lines as I have. Nevertheless, I still feel cool because I made up my own recipe. Yay me.
The ice cream was delicious, obviously, or else I wouldn’t have bothered to write about it. The Earl Grey flavor was subtle without being too subtle, and was complemented perfectly by almond extract. I used seven tea bags in this batch, and I think you could use eight or nine for a more powerful flavor, depending on how strong you like your tea, of course.
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim because that’s what I had)
1 cup granulated sugar
7-9 Earl grey tea bags
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Bring 2 cups of the heavy cream and all of the milk to boil.
2. Pour the mixture over 7-9 Earl Grey tea bags; let sit for half an hour.
3. Squeeze all the liquid out of the tea bags into the bowl. Pour mixture through strainer to remove clumps.
4. Add the rest of the cream, sugar, and extracts to the mixture.
5. Cover and chill mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes (or freezer for 10-15 minutes if you’re short on time).
6. Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker; turn on. Wait 25-30 minutes. Turn off.
7. Keep the ice cream in the freezer for 2-6 hours before you eat it, depending on how soft/hard you like it.
I realize this recipe seems somewhat useless if you don’t have an ice cream maker, but there’s some more old-fashioned methods as well—the classic plastic bag and salt trick, for example. Google it. Or you could always just make friends with someone who owns an ice cream maker (wink, wink).