This simple, 5-ingredient earl grey tea ice cream is one of my favorites. It’s subtly sweet and bergamot-scented–and goes great with apple pie or shortbread cookies.
It’s the perfect complement to an elegant holiday meal.
How to make ice cream using tea
Making ice cream with tea is so simple, and gives you a ton of options for flavoring.
Simply infuse the cream with the tea you want before making. (Like I said, simple, right?)
To do this, warm the cream up on the stove, toss the tea in and let it sit covered for about an hour. Strain it, and then use the flavored cream to make your ice cream.
You could do this with regular black tea, jasmine tea, green tea, matcha, etc. Use your imagination!
You can also use either loose leaf tea or tea bags. Both would work.
For this recipe, I used loose leaf earl grey tea.
A quick note on using herbal teas. Some herbs will clabber cream (i.e. make it curdle), so be sure to look up the tea you’ll use before you infuse it.
For this earl grey tea ice cream, I used regular old Twinings. By all means, use your favorite brand.
If you want to limit caffeine, def search out some good decaf tea. There are plenty of options out there.
Alrighty, let’s get churning!
Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup loose earl grey tea
5 egg yolks, beaten
Makes about 1 quart
Make the earl grey tea infused cream
Mix the heavy cream, sugar, and salt together in a medium-sized pot.
Heat uncovered until just simmering.
Toss in the tea and steep for 1 hour, covered, off the heat.
As the tea infuses, the cream mixture will take on a beautiful golden color.
And your kitchen should smell amazing!
Strain the tea out and discard it.
Now, you’re ready to make your earl grey tea ice cream!
Use the flavored mixture to make your earl grey tea ice cream
Put the flavored cream mixture back in a medium-sized pot. (I use the same pot.)
Put the mixture on the stove over medium high heat to warm it back up.
Next, you need to temper in the egg yolks. That’s a fancy way of saying that you need to warm the egg yolks up slowly with the hot cream mixture so that they thicken–but don’t cook solid.
Beat your egg yolks and put them in a large, heatproof bowl.
Give your cream mixture a stir.
When it just starts to simmer, ladle the hot cream into your beaten egg yolks SLOWLY.
You want to whisk the egg yolks as you drizzle the hot cream mixture into them, which will help disperse the heat and warm the yolks up slowly.
Keep ladling and whisking until you’ve added most of the hot cream to the egg yolk bowl.
Then, pour the egg yolk/cream mixture back into your pot.
Cook the earl grey ice cream mixture to 170 degrees
Slap your trusty candy thermometer on the inside of the pot and stick it back on the stove over medium heat.
Don’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pot, or you can get a false reading.
Cook, whisking CONSTANTLY (this is part of how you prevent lumps), until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.
When the custard reaches 170 degrees, yank it off the heat.
(Don’t let it go higher. It will start to separate quickly and will get a really strong, egg-y flavor.)
This won’t take long, keep a good eye on it.
Pour the hot custard immediately through your strainer into a large heatproof bowl.
The strainer will catch any bits of cooked egg that may have formed.
Chill completely in the fridge, about 4-6 hours.
(If you like, you can speed this up by setting your bowl in a larger bowl with ice water, then whisking to bring the temperature down.)
Process your earl grey tea ice cream in your ice cream maker
When your mixture is cold, process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When it’s done, you’ll have something that’s thick but not frozen solid.
This is just about the best soft-serve you’ll ever have, so if you’re inclined, scoop a big bowl and go to town.
Freeze your earl grey tea ice cream
Scoop your earl grey tea ice cream out into a freezer-safe container.
Press some plastic wrap down on the surface to keep it airtight.
Pop it into the freezer and freeze until solid, a few hours or overnight.
Scoop, serve, and enjoy!
And that’s it! You just made gloriously fragrant earl grey tea ice cream!
Scoop, serve, and enjoy!