When I took my first sip of London Fog at Le Marche St Georges a few years ago, I instantly fell in love with Earl Gray tea. Since then I’ve been drinking it on a regular basis and you’ll find my pantry fully stocked with Earl Gray tea at any time. A few weeks ago, my friend asked for a batch of Earl Gray ice cream, and I jumped at the opportunity to turn one of my favorite drinks into an ice cream. I asked why Earl Gray considering there are endless flavors but she thought it sounded lovely as an ice cream. Darn right!
I love playing with flavors and decided to combine Earl Gray and honey blossom to see what I could coax out of those ingredients. It was a hit when tested on some unsuspecting guests at a birthday party. I think people were surprised that a tea could make such a good ice cream flavor.
Bergamot-scented Earl Gray tea and honey blossom create a sophisticated and complex flavor that is subtly sweet with slight bitter undertone. This is my fourth batch and I can’t get enough of it!
Earl Gray Ice Cream (makes 1 pint)
1 cup of organic heavy cream
1 cup of organic 2% milk
¼ cup of honey blossom
3 tbsp Earl Gray loose tea leaves (my favorite brand is from the Tea Guys)
2 tbsp of sugar
2 large organic egg yolks
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine cream, milk, and honey.
2. Put the pan over medium heat and let the mixture boil gently to bubbling just around the edges (gentle simmer). Remove from heat.
3. Add the Earl Gray tea leaves and let it steep for 7-8 minutes until the cream has taken on the tea flavor, stirring occasionally and tasting to make sure it’s not too bitter.
4. While waiting for the tea to steep, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up and whisk in sugar. Set aside.
5. Put the saucepan back on the stove over low heat and let it warm up for 2 minutes.
6. Carefully measure out ½ cup of hot cream mixture.
7. While whisking the eggs constantly, whisk the hot cream mixture into the eggs until smooth. Continue tempering the eggs by adding another ½ cup of hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.
8. Pour the cream-egg mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spatula, about 5 minutes.
9. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.
10. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in an ice bath until cold, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
11. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
12. Spin until thick and creamy about 25-30 minutes.
13. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.