It’s no secret that I love ice cream. Everything about the cool, creamy, sweet deliciousness calls to me. Whether it is in a cone, on a slice of cake, wedged between two cookies, or in a bowl, I love it.
I had tried making ice cream multiple times over the years, and different ways, too. With an old-school hand-cranked, salt and ice machine method. With a more traditional churning machine method. With the no churn, made with cream and condensed milk method. They all had their draw-backs and their positive points, but they never brought me the true enjoyment that shop bought ice cream brought me. They never had that richness, that perfect scoopability, that perfection.
All that has changed. Now, I judge store bought ice creams against ones that I made to see how they stack up. In most cases, I find I prefer mine. Maybe it’s because I know exactly what goes into them, maybe it’s because my tastes have changed, maybe it’s because things that require effort on my part usually taste better. Whatever the reason…I am in love with ice cream making.
I had rented a book from my library (surprise) all about ice cream. The title, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 recipes for making your own ice cream and frozen treats from Bi-Rite Creamery. It has everything you could ever want in an ice cream book-a variety of flavors and techniques, full fat, low fat, vegan, accompanying flavor combinations, cake combinations, candy recipes, and even how to make sugar cones. I’ve tried several ice creams from this book, and so far, not one has failed me.
I made a Coffee Toffee and Salted Caramel ice cream cake. I’ve made Pumpkin Pie ice cream cupcakes. I’ve made a divine milk chocolate ice cream. And today, I am sharing with you one of the strangest and surprisingly delicious ice creams to date: Earl Grey.
It has citrus-y Bergamot notes, along with the smooth, custard creaminess of farm fresh milk. It was just a hint bitter, but mellowed out by the sugar. I think it makes a wonderfully grown up sundae when paired with grilled bananas and decadent hot fudge sauce.
Give it a try. It’s a real treat.
When I make this, I follow the directions until I get to the freezing/processing point. Since my ice cream maker is horrendously buried somewhere in the back of the kitchen closet, my methods are a little different, and I think a little simpler. If you have an ice cream maker then freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If not…follow mine!
Earl Grey Ice Cream
Infusing the milk/cream
- In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, half the sugar (1/4 c), the tea, and salt.
- Put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture just begins to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat and cover the pan.
- Let steep for about 10 minutes, or until the cream has taken on the distinct flavor of Earl Grey tea. (Make sure to stir occasionally and taste to monitor the progress).
Make the Base
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up. Next whisk in the remaining half of the sugar (1/4 cup).
- Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan over medium heat.
- Carefully scoop out about 1/2 c of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 c of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.
- Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
- Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of your spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula. About 3 minutes longer.
- Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.
- Set the container into an ice bath, wash your spatula and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool.
- Remove the container from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the Ice Cream
- Using a muffin tin, scoop out portions of ice cream so that they fill each cup 3/4 of the way full.
- Place the muffin tin into the freezer, and freeze the ice cream base overnight.
- Once frozen, remove the muffin tin from the freezer. Pop one or two of the frozen bases out of the tin and place into a food processor or blender.
- Process until smooth. To the already smooth ice cream, continue to add more frozen base, one or two at a time. Process each addition until completely smooth.
- Continue until all of the small portions of the base are incorporated. It will look like a very loose soft serve at this point. This is fine.
- Using a clean spatula, scrape the processed ice cream from the blender into a freezer proof container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours to set.