Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mango Black Tea Ice Cream with Wildflower Honey

It's tea ice cream time, everyone!  I recently enjoyed some tasty mango black tea ice cream in Cambridge, MA.  From that moment on, I knew I had to make some.  I luckily had a stash of mango black tea from a trip to the Caribbean too long ago (I could use a vacation, stat).  Considering it's 90+ degrees out right now, and the well-lit patio where I attempted to take pictures of my creation was not in the air conditioned part of the house, I'm lucky it didn't melt instantly.  I also thought housing the ice cream in my dainty and adorable tea cups would be fun.  I was right :) I used some wildflower honey instead of sugar, and cut back on the amount I'd normally use so the ice cream wouldn't be too sweet or overly honey-flavored.  I think it was the right amount, where the ice cream was lightly sweet with just that hint of honey flavor in the background, and more prominently the deep flavor of mango black tea right in your face!  Love it! You should try it :) It would be great with other teas as well.  Next time I might do Earl Grey ice cream, but try honey instead of sugar since I prefer honey to sugar in my tea if I'm sweetening it anyway, and it's also healthier than sugar!

Mango Black Tea Ice Cream with Wildflower Honey
Makes 1 generous quart

4 cups half and half
1/2 cup wildflower honey (or other mild honey such as clover or orange blossom)
6 egg yolks
6 tea bags of mango black tea

Heat the half and half in a saucepan over high heat until it begins to bubble. Add the tea bags, lower the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes to steep. Squeeze the tea bags of excess liquid and discard. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the honey in a bowl. Carefully ladle some of the hot half and half mixture into the egg yolks and whisk. Tempering the yolks will help prevent them from curdling when you add them back into the hot half and half. Now, add the yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk. Turn the heat up to medium. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly until thickened, but do not let it boil. Strain the custard into a bowl over an ice-water bath. Stir the custard in the bowl constantly until it is cool. Then refrigerate the custard for several hours or overnight until well chilled. Transfer the custard into a container with a spout (for easy pouring into the ice cream maker). Freeze ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer directions. Transfer ice cream to 1 or 2 plastic quart-sized containers and freeze until firm. If it gets too hard, you may need to leave it out for a few minutes before scooping (this is common with homemade ice creams).


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