I don’t know about you, but I have entered “THAT” part of the year. The part where I start dreaming of warmer weather, and then sink into a mini-depression knowing that the biggest snows and the coldest temperatures have yet to come. Sigh. So, in the kitchen, I’ve been eating a lot of two things: citrus and chocolate. Keys to my happiness.
This adaptation of a recipe came together because I have really been enjoying a beautiful Jasmine scented green tea, I was in the mood to make ice cream, and I was looking for an excuse to make some use of the Meyer lemons I had on hand. We had food-obsessed guests coming to dinner, and this combination seemed like a fresh, bright end to a wintry meal. Besides a complex and delicate flavour, the scent of the ice cream is a trip all its own. All thanks to my brother’s friend Colin for the actual job of standing at the stove, whisk in hand, making sure my base didn’t boil, curdle, or do anything else that would ruin itself. I think I rather enjoy having assistants in the kitchen.
Jasmine Green Tea Ice Cream with Meyer Lemon
recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream cookbook
Note: As with all things delicious, be sure to choose high quality tea for this and you will have great flavour. If you can’t get Meyer lemons, try using just 1 tsp. of regular lemon zest.
- 1.5 cups whole milk (if you are using tea bags) or 2 cups whole milk (if you are using loose tea leaves)
- 6 jasmine green tea bags or 2 Tbsp. loose tea leaves (we love Numi‘s version)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1.5 tsp. fresh Meyer lemon zest, reserve the lemon to wedge and use as a garnish
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar (I used superfine)
- 3 Tbsp. honey (I used raw Ambrosia from Parachute, CO)
- In a heavy 2-qt (2-l) saucepan, cook the milk over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the loose tea or submerge the tea bags in the hot milk. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. I did a full 24 hours, with great flavour and no bitterness.
- Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or remove the tea bags from the milk, gently squeezing them to extract their liquid. In a heavy 2-qt saucepan, combine the tea-infused milk, 1 cup of the cream, and the lemon zest. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup cream in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and add the honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (though Colin recommended a whisk and I think he’s right- it’s easier to keep the custard from settling on any part of the pan) and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the zest from the sieve.
- Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Again, I broke the rules — we wanted dessert now and not later . . . I did not use the ice bath to cool my custard, but just stuck it out on the back patio for the night air to cool it down, then I covered it with plastic, and threw it in the freezer being careful not to forget it there, until it was very cold.
- Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days, before serving. We ate ours fresh from the ice-cream maker, so it was pretty soft, but plan ahead and freeze it a day ahead if you like your ice cream more traditionally frozen.
- Garnish with a wedge of lemon and curls of zest, and serve to your happy guests!