This ice cream officially kicks off my 2009 ice cream making season, but was supposed to kick off the 2008 ice cream season. I had been dreaming of Thai tea ice cream all 2007/2008 winter long, and when the weather warmed up and it was time to break out the ice cream maker, I could not for the life of me find Thai tea any where.
I could find individual packets of instant Thai tea, but no bags of loose leaf tea and spices, or what is sometimes called Thai tea powder. And I'm fully aware of the awesome powers of purchasing goods online (Amazon is my savior), but was determined to find the tea at one of the many Asian markets along Washington Ave. in Philly. It was a principle thing. There's also Thai tea syrup, and you can even make it yourself.Well, I never found the tea all summer long (didn't look too hard, just whenever I was in a store). Cut to this past winter, and the tea magically appeared at some market the boy was shopping at, and he thoughtfully bought me a pack since he knew I had been on the hunt for quite some time.
Yes! Thai tea ice cream is going to happen!Not so fast! Doh, I forgot to put the ice cream freezer bowl in the freezer. The bowl usually lives in the freezer all the time, ever at the ready, but I took the bowl out for the winter to make more room in the freezer.
Plans dashed, I settled on a day late. I tweaked a Vietnamese coffee ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, but the ice cream turned out way too sweet and too strongly tea flavored. Ugghhhh!
The next day, work got in the way, so there was no re-do.
Finally, the following day I tweaked my tweaked recipe and made a Thai tea ice cream that's fit to show off. One year and a couple of tries later.
I hope you enjoy the recipe; it's quite good, and is possibly the most anticipated ice cream of my ice cream making career. Worth the wait? I would have preferred to have it last year!Thai Tea Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart
After steeping the loose leaf tea, you'll need some way to strain the tea. Many who regularly make Thai tea have these large tea socks that do the job. I did not have a tea sock, nor did I want to buy one. I found that the coffee press I had worked just fine.
1/3 cup loose leaf Thai tea
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half and half
- Add 2 1/2 cups of hot/boiling water to loose leaf Thai tea, and steep for 20 minutes (this is more water than the brewed tea called for in the recipe, because some of the water will be absorbed by the leaves). Strain tea (I pushed the French press plunger down) and let cool to room temperature.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups brewed tea, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half in a large bowl.
- Process mixture in an ice cream machine. Chill overnight in the freezer before serving.