Tea flavored ice cream would be awesome
November 22, 2009 10:48 PM   Subscribe

I want English breakfast tea ice cream. Help?

I like tea. I like ice cream. Green tea ice cream is pretty awesome. But I was hoping by now that someone would make English breakfast tea ice cream. Or black tea, honey, and lemon ice cream. As Ben and Jerry have ignored my e-mails, how would I go about making this with an ice cream maker from Target? Suggestions?

Maybe I can take this to my sister's as Thanksgiving dessert.
posted by FunkyHelix to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Twinings' Lady Grey in ice cream form would pretty much be the best thing ever.

Could you heat the milk (but not too much!) and steep a bunch of tea in it? I don't see how that could go wrong, although it might not be as flavorful as desired.
posted by jordanlewis at 10:52 PM on November 22, 2009

I think you problem here is going to be getting the "tea" flavor to show up well in the ice cream. I mean, you've had tea with milk right - what you taste the most is the milk. I would try making a concentrate of the tea that you like and experimenting with it in a plain vanilla recipe, just leave out the vanilla.
posted by bigmusic at 10:52 PM on November 22, 2009

Can't vouch for this particular recipe, but it seems like it would work if you just used English breakfast tea instead of green tea. Looks like most green tea ice cream is made with green tea powder though.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 10:53 PM on November 22, 2009

Vanilla ice cream is made with milk/cream infused with vanilla bean too. I would think you could simply make a custard (milk/egg/cream) steeped with tea and this would work.
posted by xammerboy at 11:11 PM on November 22, 2009

A cafe in Denver called Paris on the Platte* makes a pretty mean Earl Grey milkshake. It's an independent local place and all that jazz, so I bet if you called them up they'd give you a few pointers.

*Warning: Hideous, over-designed flash site
posted by eggplantplacebo at 11:16 PM on November 22, 2009

I just had earl grey ice-cream at Bi-Rite Creamery and it was delicious. It tasted just like the tea and was very refreshing. Here are a few recipes for earl grey ice-cream - you should be able to substitute with any other type of tea. The last link includes instructions to make ice-cream without an ice-cream maker.
posted by serunding at 11:22 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

This recipe for earl grey cookies works pretty well, and just requires some tea bags. I've made it before and it worked just fine (they were actually really tasty!); I can't imagine it'd be that different to basically do the same thing only with ice cream.
posted by nat at 11:30 PM on November 22, 2009

jordanlewis has the answer. You just steep the tea in milk and/or cream.

Don't just grind up the leaves like matcha. You will be sad at how bitter and nasty your tea leaf ice cream is.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:54 PM on November 22, 2009

I've actually done tea ice cream before, it's pretty easy:
  • 2 quarts milk
  • 2 quarts heavy cream/half and half
  • 1-2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup tea (to start)
The instructions are pretty simple:
  1. Start heating heavy cream and milk, and dissolve sugar
  2. Add tea and bring the milk close to a simmer, do not let it boil. I used lose leaf tea (I was actually making chai and rum ice cream), you can use bagged tea (or keep the tea in a cheese cloth or tea ball).
  3. Taste. Add more sugar or tea leaves as necessary, remember, the cream and cold will dull the sweetness, but don't over compensate.
  4. Once the flavor is to your satisfaction, let the mixture cool out of the fridge for an hour or so, then cool in the fridge.
  5. This is where your method is going to deviate from mine. I was making liquid nitro ice cream for a fundraiser, you should just follow the instructions on your ice cream maker.

posted by thebestsophist at 11:59 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Here's a recipe for Earl Gray icecream which works as I imagined it would - steeping the teabags in the cream and milk used in the custard.
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:05 AM on November 23, 2009

I see you're in NJ, so if you ever happen to find yourself in Princeton, The Bent Spoon (an absolutely amazing ice cream and sorbet place) has Earl Grey on regular rotation. It isn't always there, so I'd advise calling before going, but man, is it ever good.
posted by ilana at 12:09 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is my recipe for Earl Gray ice cream; as everyone else has said, there's no reason you shouldn't use any tea you want to infuse. I'm pretty sure I based this off David Lebovitz's basic ice cream recipe. For English Breakfast you'd probably want to cut the orange zest.

Earl Grey Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
8 egg yolks
7 ounces sugar
Zest from 1/2 an orange, peeled off in strips
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea (or 7 tea bags)
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Heat the milk, cream, tea, zest and vanilla over medium heat until it barely simmers, then set aside. Whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color, then gradually add the sugar. Temper the eggs by adding about 1/3 of the hot milk, a little at a time, whisking well. Then, whisk the tempered egg mixture back into the pot. Cook over medium low heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, or until it reaches between 170 and 175 degrees. Set aside for 15 minutes to further infuse the flavor. Strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate overnight with a sheet of plastic pressed over the custard to prevent a skin. The next day, freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions, then let remove the soft-set ice cream to a covered container and let it harden in the freezer for a few hours.
posted by mostlymartha at 12:15 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'd heat the milk in a double boiler and "steep" ( so to speak) whichever flavour you choose.

By the way, my son made pumpkin flavoured ( with spices) ice cream for our Thanksgiving dinner. And yes it went over very well. Yum!
posted by Taurid at 12:27 AM on November 23, 2009

bigmusic: I think you problem here is going to be getting the "tea" flavor to show up well in the ice cream. I mean, you've had tea with milk right - what you taste the most is the milk.

You're doing it wrong.

I've helped my dad do this once, and while I wasn't paying attention to every little minuscule detail, it did involve steeping some teabags in heated milk, and adding sugar and pasteurised egg. That was about it, aside from the freezing.

It was delicious, and goes very well with anything with lots of Indian spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, &c.)
posted by Dysk at 5:00 AM on November 23, 2009

If you're interested in making Ice Cream, I would highly recommend Morfudd Richard's Lola's Ice Creams and Sundaes. If you can get it sent from the UK it would be about $20 + postage. The book is very good on the science behind ice cream making and how to infuse flavours. Her website is here, and you can email, so she may respond.

She also has a pretty fine Plum and Earl Grey ice cream recipe.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:10 AM on November 23, 2009

This was all over the web a couple weeks ago, and several of the recipes I'd seen (Chowhound, Epicurious) have already been linked. Here is another from Craft Magazine.
posted by runningwithscissors at 5:20 AM on November 23, 2009

I typically make green tea ice cream with Emeril Lagasse's recipe, which uses loose tea (not matcha). I've used Earl Grey instead of the green tea and it turned out great!
posted by kittydelsol at 5:40 AM on November 23, 2009

Toscanini's in Cambridge, MA makes several kinds of tea ice cream on occasion; they're generally really approachable, and might be willing to give you a tip if you contact them.
posted by ubersturm at 6:16 AM on November 23, 2009

Maybe also try Jeni's seasonal ice creams for tips. They have a smoked chocolate flavor right now that uses Lapsang Souchong tea. Their stuff has always been superb, and they may give you some info on how to do it yourself. Or it may be worth ordering some from them to see what's possible! Their flavors rotate seasonally.
posted by BlooPen at 7:00 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

The steeping the tea in the cream technique also works for tea flavored truffles. Dark chocolate plus Earl Grey = delicious.
posted by cubby at 8:11 AM on November 23, 2009

If you're ever in Ikebukuro, Japan, you can try going into the Ice Cream City area of the indoor NamjaTown theme park (inside the Sunshine City mall). They had a *lot* of strange ice cream flavors in there, from the conventional strawberry and vanilla to squid ink and horse meat.

Yes, horse meat!

My SO had Earl Grey ice cream when we were there since he likes that tea. Another friend had capsaicin ice cream...
posted by Seboshin at 10:31 AM on November 23, 2009

Tea is a pretty subtle flavour and you'll need a lot of it to make it through in cold ice cream. Green tea works because as someone else pointed out, it's matcha which is very strong on its own and is a solid not just an infusion. Earl grey works becasue Earl Grey tea tastes like shit and I'm sure you can imagine how much shit it takes to infuse a batch of ice cream with the requisite flavour - not much. Seriously, the bergamont in Earl grey is very strong and carries well through ice cream, far more than the tea itself.

Your best bet is to get a crazy strong tea like puh-er or the now-defunct Twinnings Russian Caravan which is a blend of Oolong, Keemun and Lapsang Souchong teas. Just gets something that's almost undrinkably strong, steep the hell out of it and then use that in the aforementioned recipes. Most commercial tea bags will never give you a strong enough flavour - you'll have to go get some decent, fresh loose-leaf tea to make a strong enough brew for ice cream.
posted by GuyZero at 11:53 AM on November 23, 2009

You will need

1L 10% cream
8 egg yolks
250g sugar
8-10 bags worth of whatever tea

Bring cream to a boil. Add teabags (or loose tea) and let steep for 10 minutes. Taste for flavour--it needs to be very very much too strong, as flavours are dulled in cold foods. Reheat (not to boil) and add more tea if necessary.

While cream is boiling, beat eggyolks and sugar to pale, pale yellow and thick.

Temper boiling cream into eggs, whisk together, return to heat. Bring back to just below a boil, pour through a very fine mesh strainer into a stainless steel bowl resting in ice.

Add to your ice cream maker and process per machine directions.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:07 PM on November 23, 2009

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