Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thai Tea Ice Cream

Denizens of Thai food restaurants are familiar with super sweet, orange-colored iced tea. In this recipe, my friend Yvonne transforms the refreshing Thai beverage into ice cream.

Thai ice tea is made from strongly brewed black tea which may be supplemented with orange blossom water, food coloring, star anise, and/or crushed tamarind seed. The Black tea is sweetened and mixed with one or more of the following: condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk or coconut milk. In the United States, Thai ice tea is generally served in a tall glass; in Thailand it is more often seen in a to-go clear plastic bag with a straw sticking out.

This photograph shows profiteroles filled with Thai tea ice cream. Watch this space for a post about how to make this and other choux pastry treats.

Serves 4 to 6

4 cups heavy cream (can substitute up to half with whole milk)
Thai tea (1/4 cup loose leaves in a tea sock or 3 teabags)
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
1 to 2 eggs yolks, beaten (optional)

1. In a large saucepan over low heat, warm cream and/or milk.
2. After mixture is warm add Thai tea and sugar and infuse for 20 or 30 minutes until mixture is a rich salmon color. Stir occasionally. Taste and extend infusion for stronger flavor and add additional sugar to taste.
3. Add egg yolks to produce a richer and less icy ice cream. Add eggs to warm mixture and stir until it thickens.
4. If necessary, strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove any stray tea leaves.
5. Pour into a glass bowl and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
6. Then transfer to an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.