Thursday, February 6, 2014

Earl Grey Ice Cream

 Seasons have always been a bit of an issue for me. I can't ever really get the timing of my feelings quite right - I'm in a beach mood in the middle of winter, and I've been known to sleep with a comforter in August. This used to be quite the problem, especially when it came to clothing; every year, my best friend (and/or my mother) had to yell at me to stop wearing boots in the spring or put on a coat in the fall. I'm telling you, teenage problems are so real.
Over the years, I've learned to embrace my lack of harmony with seasonal shifts, especially when it comes to food. Why not have soup in the summer, or fruit salad in the winter? Who says smoothies have to be a summer thing, and who made up the crazy rule that gingerbread is meant only for the month of December? Life needs a little spontaneity, right?
I'm of the belief that ice cream is a year-round food, just as enjoyable when you're curled up by a fireplace as when you're sitting by the pool. This one is creamy and just sweet enough, perfect for pairing with a fruity dessert. (I served mine with a French apple cake, recipe coming soon!) That said, it actually does include a little winter touch; the earl grey is a flavor you're probably used to getting in a steaming mug, and having it in ice cream is a little mind game totally worth playing.
 I'm a fan of earl grey tea in just about anything sweet (because everyone knows I'm actually an old lady at heart), but this ice cream is by far the best I've ever made. Winter or not.
Earl Grey Ice Cream
(slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup loose earl grey tea leaves (from about 6 tea bags)
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, warm the milk, cream, and sugar over medium-heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk is steaming (but not boiling), remove pan from heat. Place the tea in the pan, cover and steep at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla until frothy. Once the milk mixture is re-warmed, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, and quickly whisk in until combined. Repeat 2-3 more times with more of the milk mixture, then gradually pour in the remainder of the milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk quickly until combined.
Return the new milk/egg mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Immediately strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove tea leaves and any bits of egg, and then refrigerate until completely cooled (this can be done fairly quickly over an ice bath, or in the freezer). Then freeze with an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions (mine took about 20 minutes), until it's the consistency of soft serve ice cream.


Ayeisha Ashman said...

will have to try this out one day!

Sophia said...

Ayeisha, please do - it's delicious!