Green tea ice cream, called maccha ice cream in Japan, takes its name from the expensive green tea powder used in traditional tea ceremonies. But I find that bags of green tea from a large commercial producer also give you an enormous green tea flavor—if you use enough tea bags. In fact, the following recipe makes the best green tea ice cream I’ve ever tasted.
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 green tea bags (see Note)
1. Combine the half-and-half and the heavy cream in a medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat, taking care to prevent the liquids from boiling over.
2. Turn off the heat and immediately add the sugar and salt, stirring briefly to dissolve. Stir in the vanilla and the tea bags and let the mixture cool to room temperature, occasionally stirring and gently pressing on the tea bags to help extract their flavors. When cooled, store the mixture (including the tea bags), tightly covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
3. The following day, pass the mixture through a sieve set over a bowl, gently pushing on the tea bags to release their liquid. Tear open one of the spent tea bags; remove ¼ teaspoon of loose tea leaves, and stir them into the ice cream base. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.