The classic Earl Grey Reserve black tea is probably one of the most common teas that restaurants and dairies turn into ice cream. I have tried quite a few, and to tell you frankly, I have been fairly disappointed with most of them.
It might just be me, but I think they usually either come out too perfumey (probably due to the fact that they use an Earl Grey which uses artificial flavours) or the combination of cream, sugar and tea creates a weird aftertaste.
This problem is undoubtedly caused by the fact that they are trying to replicate a cup of Earl Grey in ice cream form. The right way is to use Earl Grey as an ingredient to create a new flavour.
With that idea as my inspiration, I set out to create a new ice cream flavour which used Earl Grey as a dimension of flavour – balanced and complemented by other flavours.
The result? It's obvious how it was cleared in 5 minutes the moment I put this quart and a half of ice cream in the Tavalon office (about 5 minutes). It was delicious, tasted completely different than any others out there.
Tea Recipe to Make Earl Grey Creamsicle Ice Cream
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (separated into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons Earl Grey Reserve loose leaf black tea
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (can be found at any Middle Eastern Market, or make your own)
1. In a medium bowl, beat together the yolks and half of the sugar. You can beat by hand using a whisk or use a hand mixer or egg beater. Beat until thoroughly smooth and creamy (this takes a couple of minutes by hand).
2. On a medium saucepan over medium heat, put cream, 1 cup of the milk, the remaining half of the sugar, and the salt. Heat the mixture until just before it starts to simmer (do not let simmer), add the tea leaves. Remove mixture from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
3. While the mixture is standing, prepare an ice water bath in a bowl large enough to set another bowl easily inside of it. Set aside.
4. Whisk in 1 cup of the cream mixture in a slow stream into the yolk mixture to temper it. Add another cup of the cream mixture; continue to whisk. Transfer the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining cream, milk, and tea leaves.
5. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and an instant-read thermometer registers 180°F, 5 to 7 minutes. (You can run your finger in a line over the back of the coated spoon. If the mixture doesn’t run, but stays in place on the spoon, it should be thick enough.) Remove from heat and mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and orange blossom water to stop the mixture from overcooking.
6. Pour custard through a medium-mesh sieve into a stainless steel bowl set in the ice-water bath. Let cool completely, stirring until completely chilled.
7. Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.