When Marc and I got married six years ago, a good friend of ours labored for weeks developing the ultimate spiced chai for our wedding reception. In Santa Cruz, she had discovered some amazing loose jasmine green tea that came rolled up in tiny pearl balls. You can find it online here.
We loved it.
The tea has a light floral fragrance of jasmine, but also that wonderful herby green scent of tea. So, when we were brainstorming this week about what was the next interesting ice cream to make, the jasmine pearls seemed the obvious choice. The result was exotic and delicious.
The flavor is subtle, yet distinct. Marc and I have pretty sophisticated palates, but we both felt that if someone had given us a blind taste, we never would have guessed the flavor.
Recipe makes approx. one quart.
2 C. organic heavy cream
2 C. organic half and half
¾ cups organic evaporated sugar cane juice (it’s unbleached granulated sugar that imparts a blond color and still has the natural minerals and enzymes from the sugar cane. great stuff if you haven’t tried it yet and tastes delicious)
3 Tbs. Jasmine Green Tea Pearls
The night before, put the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in your freezer, so itâ€™s rock solid when you need it.
Heat the half and half in a large heavy saucepan over med. heat until small bubbles appear around the edge. Don’t let it boil.
Remove from heat and add the loose tea pearls, stirring a bit to incorporate. Let the tea steep in the half and half for 10-15 minutes. Use your senses of taste and smell to determine if the tea is steeped enough.
Strain out the loose tea which will have unfurled in the heat of the half and half. Add the sugar and cream into the half and half, and turn on the heat until the small bubbles appear around the edge again.
Cover and refrigerate until cold, or overnight. Freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When finished, the ice cream will be soft, but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least two hours. Just remember that thereâ€™s no junk or stabilizers in this ice cream, so it does tend to melt faster than store bought.
As a friend recommended for the rose ice cream, you could serve this delicate treat with lavender short bread, or stir in small bits of candied orange peel, or you could steep whole cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamon at the same time as the tea for a chai twist. Have a blast with it.
This recipe is an adaptation of a green tea recipe in Bruce Weinstein’s The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.