Dreaming of a hot summer
In the heat of summer, you might not be so keen on that hot steamy cup of tea. Well, you see, living in San Francisco, I don't have such problems. The average temperature is 59 F (15 C) but I can always pretend it's hot outside and enjoy summer-appropriate food and beverages. For example, I could make some lovely iced tea. Nevertheless, I really want to trick myself into thinking that it is a scorching summer day out there and the best remedy against it is ice cream, of course! So, today I am making chai tea ice cream because on the one hand, I want to feel like I am enjoying the summer; on the other hand, the warmth from the chai spices is much more in tune with what I need right now (given the current temperatures!).
Here's the recipe:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp aniseed
1 tsp clove
1 tsp whole cardamom pods
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 inch of freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup, loose leaf Darjeeling tea (or 10 sachets)
Heat cream, half and half and sugar until mixture comes to a simmer. When small bubbles start to form around the edge, turn off the heat. Set aside.
Coarsely grind aniseed, cardamom and cloves. The best part is that you can really customize the spice mix to your liking. Add spices to cream mixture together with cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, ginger and tea leaves (or tea bags). Steep for at least 45 minutes.
Strain the mixture and bring it to a simmer one more time. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add a ladle of the hot cream mixture to the yolks and whisk straightaway to bring the yolks to the same temperature of the cream. This gradual process will prevent the egg yolks to turn into scrambled eggs. Add the remaining hot cream mixture and whisk until combined. Let cool overnight in the fridge.
Following the instructions of your ice cream machine, churn until it reaches soft serve consistency. It takes 20 minutes with my ice cream maker (Kitchen Aid).
Store in the freezer for a few hours before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Vijaya Selvaraju.
I have to warn you, it can be addictive! Let me know in the comments below if you've ever tried chai ice cream and your favorite spice blend. Do you use vanilla? I am looking forward to your comments!