Some regular readers may have noticed a certain obsession lately, namely that my creativity in the kitchen with concerns to ice cream has been largely centered around tea as of late. In terms of flavor, this is my favorite ice cream tea to date.
This may not come as a surprise to anyone who makes ice cream at home, but I have finally concluded that anything less than 50% cream and 50% half & half is just not creamy enough to make a soft, scoop-able, delicious ice cream at home. The photo above was made with 100% half and half, and while the taste was delicious, the texture was lacking. So, I have amended my recipe below for your future success.
1 oz Rishi Vanilla Mint Pu-Ehr Organic Tea
1/2 pint organic half-and-half
1/2 pint organic whole cream (I recommend Straus Family Creamery for your ice cream dairy products)
1/3 cup sugar + 1/3 cup water
Additional boiling water
Combine the sugar and water and bring to the beginning of a simmer over heat to make a simple syrup. Turn off heat and reserve. Does not have to be cool to use.
In a medium to large metal or glass bowl add the tea, but reserve from the 1oz enough for one pot–you should brew it when you eat the ice cream for a hot & cold experience. Pour enough boiling water over the tea to moisten all of it and let brew 1-2 minutes.
At 1-2 minutes, add the half and half and the cream, then the simple syrup. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 36. Optional: let stand at room temperature for 30 min-1hour for more intense flavoring, before placing in refrigerator.
When mixture is fully chilled, follow instructions for your ice cream machine being sure to strain the mixture as you pour it into the machine.
As a tangent, the folks at Rishi Tea are really down to earth. It came as a bit of a surprise to me that they’ve been around for more than 10 years, because they really run as a small, local company simply doing good business, and they have some really great products. Like my friend P at Red Blossom, they source their own teas and have personal relationships with the growers, and have some great products they offer for wholesale–so you can likely find their products locally if you prefer not to order online.
If you enjoy less traditional teas such as blends or fruit infusions but appreciate excellent quality, for example, this vanilla mint blend, Rishi is a great source. I also enjoyed their “iron goddess” oolong, but as a moderately experienced oolong drinker (read: I have no right to be snobby and am only moderately more exposed to excellent teas than the next person), I’d personally return specifically for the flavored teas and look forward to experimenting with more of them in cuisine as well (plum oolong dashi with umeboshi-pork roll and shiso?? just an idea).
Come to think of it, it’s pretty much summer, so some flavored ice tea could be in order for back yard get-togethers, and they seem to have some tasty options.