Monday, June 4, 2012

green tea ice cream

About five years ago, my lovely sister got me a Cuisinart ice cream maker for my birthday after I mentioned that it would be fun to have one. I used it once (to make a mango sorbet) and then put it back into the box where it languished for the next half-decade. Until this week.

You see, for the past couple of weeks, Chung-Ah from Damn Delicious and I have been talking about making ice cream. She had recently bought an ice cream maker and I just happened to have an extra copy of the Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book which I sent off to her. All this talk of making ice cream made me want to pull out my own machine and give it another spin.

So all week long I planned to make rhubarb ice cream but when I woke up Friday morning I thought, "Why don't I make some green tea ice cream for my dad?" You see, it was my dad's birthday and he LOVES green tea ice cream. I know he had just finished a store-bought pint recently and I thought it would be a delicious surprise if I made some for him myself.

I have several green teas powders in my pantry, including a couple I bought during my trip to Tokyo, but the one I chose was the Matcha Matsu tea from David's Tea, a Canadian company. I figured that it would be easier to get my hands on more if this recipe turned out to be a success.

I prepared the mixture Friday evening, let it chill overnight and then made the ice cream on Saturday afternoon. It turned out perfectly. My dad's reaction "This is better than the ice cream I just bought. You should sell this!" How awesome is that reaction?

The taste of green tea ice cream isn't for everyone, but if you're a fan, than you'll love this one. It's creamy, well-flavoured and easy to make.

At the end of the day, I don't know if making my own green tea ice cream is actually cheaper than buying it, but check out the ingredients list on the one that my dad had bought (I found the empty container on the kitchen counter):

"milk ingredients, sugar, glucose solids, modified milk ingredients, green tea, mono and diglycerides, guar gum polysorbate 80, carrageenan"

After seeing that list, making my own version seems much healthier and less, um, chemically-infused.

green tea ice cream
source: slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats
printer-friendly version


1 cup 2% milk (you can also use whole milk for an even creamier ice cream)
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups whipping cream (or any cream with 35% milk fat)
4 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder) - I used the Matcha Matsu from David's Tea
6 large egg yolks


In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt. Heat over medium heat until warmed through.

Meanwhile, pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and whisk in the matcha. Try to break up as much of the matcha as you can (it tends to clump together). Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth.

While continuing to whisk the egg yolks, slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks. Return the milk and yolk mixture into the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly (be careful the eggs don't start cooking!) Immediately remove from the heat and slowly pour the milk and egg mixture through the strainer into the cream and matcha mixture.

Whisk the mixture vigorously until all the green tea powder is dissolved. There should not be any lumps of matcha remaining.

Cover the matcha mixture and chill completely  in the refigerator. (I let mine chill overnight)

Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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