Green tea is consistently named one of the best health foods of all time- it’s said to fight cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, burn fat, prevent diabetes and strokes… the list goes on and on. But while I do enjoy the occasional cup of green tea (with a fondness for nutty Japanese blends), one of my favorite ways to have green tea is in ice cream.
Okay, so maybe green tea ice cream isn’t the same as green tea. Maybe I’m cancelling out all the nutritional benefits by mixing it with a ton of heavy cream and sugar… but this is one of those times I like to fool myself. Haagen-Dazs makes a particularly delicious Green Tea ice cream, but why buy when you can make it yourself? It isn’t that hard, I promise you.
Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream
Based on a recipe by Gale Gand
3 cups heavy cream
1 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
9 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons green tea powder (also known as “matcha”!)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and vanilla bean, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t scorch on the bottom. When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer (do not let it boil), set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the still-hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. At 160 degrees, the mixture will give off a puff of steam. When the mixture reaches 180 degrees it will be thickened and creamy, like eggnog. If you don’t have a thermometer, test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the mixture. Run your finger down the back of the spoon. If the stripe remains clear, the mixture is ready; if the edges blur, the mixture is not quite thick enough yet. When it is ready, quickly remove it from the heat and whisk in the green tea. Meanwhile, half-fill a large bowl with ice water. Strain the mixture into a smaller bowl to smooth it and remove the vanilla bean. Rest the smaller bowl in the ice water and let the mixture cool, stirring often, then continue according to the directions of your ice cream maker.
This makes really awesome green tea ice cream. Creamy and not too sweet.