Emily has been my assistant this summer since she’s been home from college. Before she leaves for work, she acts as my official taste-tester, prop-assistant and light-bouncer– she can expertly maneuver, my jury-rigged reflector to lighten shadows before I take a picture. She’s also quite adept at telling me “what I need to make”.
So far, I’ve heard “You need to make…” lasagna, burrito bowls, enchiladas, pie, burgers and whatever else she finds appealing on Pinterest that day. Evidently, I’m not keeping up with current food trends, either. “Tea is huge!” she insisted. “You need to make green tea ice cream.”
Tea? In ice cream? I’m dubious. But she offered to help, so what the hell. We began by steeping the tea in milk. Hmmm. What a distinctly unappetizing color. Even she was questioning her choice.
I made the custard with eggs, sugar and cornstarch.
Then we added the steeped milk to blend.
After thickening the mixture on the stove and cringing at this new Sherwin-Williams tone we’d created, we added the cream. It helped. The color went from cat vomit (Emily’s words, not mine) to a light mocha.
We both thought the ice cream would be better off with some mix-ins and Emily voted for pistachios and chocolate. #doesn’tsuck!
I’ll admit it was looking a lot better than it had in the beginning and the flavor was pure green tea. So if you’re into it, this ice cream will take you to tea-nirvana. The chocolate and nuts add great texture and flavor, too.
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons green tea leaves
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, finely chopped (or buzzed through a mini food processor)
- Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the tea leaves. Cover and set aside to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thickened and pale yellow in a medium mixing bowl. Beat in the cornstarch.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a 2 cup (or greater) glass measuring cup with a pouring lip. Pour the milk and tea leaves through the strainer, pressing on the solids to force the milk into the cup. Add the milk in a steady stream to the egg mixture, beating until well combined. Pour back into the pan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly until custard begins to thicken. Don't let the mixture come to a boil, or you risk scrambling the eggs.
- Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a strainer into a large clean bowl - to remove any egg solids. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled - at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Stir the chilled custard then churn the ice cream according to your manufacturers instructions. When the ice cream begins to firm up, add the pistachios and chocolate chips. Continue to process for 5-10 minutes. When finished the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze at least two hours.