Ooo-la-la! This is going to be a very pretty post. The color of this Spiced Green Tea and White Chocolate Ice Cream was shockingly vivid and kicked in my photographer’s spidey sense big time. I could fill a book with all the colorful photos I took. But, we’re not here just to look at pictures (okay, I admit, sometimes that’s all I do on the blogs I visit). No sir, we’re here to talk about making green tea (or matcha) ice cream.
This is no sissy recipe. It’s got a lot of ingredients, and there’s some time investment too with all the constant stirring required. But, please, trust me…trust me when I say it’s so very worth the effort! I’ve been eyeballing green tea ice cream recipes for years now… yes, years. This recipe is the first I’ve undertaken for a couple reasons. For one, matcha powder can be a little tricky to find. I got mine recently at a great Asian supermarket in North Wales, PA.
Second, anything fun that I make these days, I’m always looking for a way to make it “blog eligible” by incorporating an ingredient straight from the farm. With my matcha powder in hand, I then acquired a gallon of fresh whole cow’s milk from my parents’ Holstein herd on a recent trip home. Unpasteurized milk straight from the udder is so rich and creamy that I actually skipped the heavy cream called for in the recipe and just used all whole milk. I kept the cream in the recipe below though as I doubt many of you have access to unpasteurized milk, given all the federal regulations on it.
Third, and most importantly, I abstained from making my own green tea ice cream for so long because I have such a fond taste memory associated with it. When I first moved to Philadelphia several years back, I worked for a great company with a great set of coworkers who took long group lunches, often ending with a trip to the ice cream shop, Alaska, which used to be at the corner of 18th and Sansom Streets. Besides having the most hysterical giant moose on their exterior sign, we loved going to this old-fashioned scoop shop for the unique flavors they carried, one of which was the most delicate and creamy green tea ice cream you can possibly imagine. I always got it, even when I swore I wouldn’t. Its sirens song and pale green hue always lured me in. Since Alaska’s closing, I’ve had such a hankering for that ice cream. But I was, frankly, a little intimidated that the green tea ice cream I would make myself just wouldn’t be right.
And you know what? It wasn’t a perfect match to that taste memory I had, but that was more and more okay with each bite that melted on my tongue. Following the original recipe, I put in two tablespoons of matcha powder, making for an intense green tea flavor with just hints of vanilla and nutmeg behind it. The white chocolate seemed to disappear a bit behind the green tea, although I’m sure it was lending its sweetness. Still, it was delicious! AND so very vibrant visually! With that being said, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to present to you with the modifications I plan to use to make my next batch…tomorrow.
A little less matcha,
A little more spice,
I think it’ll be extra nice!
1 c. heavy cream
2 c. whole milk
1/8 t. fine salt
1 vanilla bean
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c. superfine sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 T. matcha powder, sifted*
8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
*One tablespoon of matcha powder makes a relatively mild green tea ice cream. However, if you really enjoy the grassy flavor of green tea, you can add as much as 2 tablespoons of powder and still get a creamy ice cream.
In a medium heavy saucepan, bring the cream, milk, vanilla beans/pod, nutmeg, sugar and salt to low boil, stirring constantly. Sit aside to infuse. After 10 minutes, fish out the vanilla pod pieces with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs until they become noticably paler yellow. Pour the warm cream mixture in a thin steady stream into the bowl of eggs, whisking continously while pouring. Return the cream and egg mixture to the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of it, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat, add the shifted matcha powder and stir well with a whisk.
Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals. Add the chocolate to the custard and whisk to combine. Cool the cream to room temperature in an cold water bath, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold.
Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream machine.
(makes about 1 quart)