Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Green Tea Ice Cream

So I've had an ice cream maker for going on two years now, and never used it. I'm not generally one to keep appliances and kitchen gadgets around, but I had dreams of making ice cream with my kids and just couldn't part with it, even though I'd never once used it.

Even becoming a locavore didn't change that, because Battenkill Creamery started making ice cream last year. Between that and the knowledge that Stewart's buys milk from local dairies (including Willow Marsh), I haven't really felt the need to break it out until recently.

But this was a long weekend, and we had leftover cream from last week's strawberry shortcake (I made some at home with strawberries from the farmer's market even though I'd just eaten it Friday night at Fifty South), and children love making ice cream, right?

The only question was, which flavor?

I really didn't want to make another trip to buy ingredients, and we hadn't been able to get strawberries at the farmer's market this week - we were running late. So I settled on green tea ice cream, because we had all the ingredients in the house. I based what I did off of this recipe, using honey instead of sugar to keep it local.

Green Tea Ice Cream

2 Tablespoons green tea leaves (came out to six tea bags with the variety I had)
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups double (heavy) cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soak the tea leaves in the boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes.

Carefully heat the milk to boiling and add the tea mixture to it. Let stand 5 to 6 minutes. (Since I altered the recipe due to not having a vanilla pod, I see no reason why you couldn't just heat the milk up and add the tea directly to it and steep it there for 15 to 20 minutes; but this is untried at this moment.) Strain out the tea (unless you were smarter than me and left them in the tea bags).

Beat the egg yolks and add them to the milk mixture along with the honey. (I use a little cooking spray on the measuring cup so it comes out more easily.) Heat it until you're confident it's cooked; I didn't find that it got very thick, and when it started bubbling, I took it from the heat right away so it wouldn't burn.

Add the vanilla extract; cool it thoroughly.

Whip the cream and fold it in. Load it into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions.

This recipe gave great results, with a smooth texture just like ice cream you get in the store, but made with all familiar ingredients. The girls made faces when they thought I wasn't looking, and quietly turned down seconds; my son, however, ate several dishes of it.

Now I'm trying to think of what kind of ice cream to make next. I'm invited to two parties this weekend and this could be just the ticket. I have lavendar growing in our garden, which is one possibility. There's mint, but not enough of it to make ice cream. I like the idea of making chai ice cream. Another possibility is to pick up some fair trade chocolate and make that.

It's a good thing I've got all weekend to figure it out.

Not local today: green tea, vanilla extract

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