Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ginger Green Tea Ice Cream - Sugar Free or Not

[8/16/2010: ed. note. Saveur picked this ice cream for Sites We Love this August! Thanks, Saveur!]

[10/7/2010: ed note. A kind commenter pointed out an error that I have now corrected. Then I noticed a few more things...]

When Mr CC and I took a trip along the south-east Atlantic seaboard recently, one of the cities we stayed in was beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia.  And one of the first things we do when in a new area is ferret out a really great place to get really good coffee and tea.

Preferrably locally owned and operated.  With really tasty, homemade food.  [The reallys are on purpose.  Really]

A little pre-flight online sleuthing brought me to a promising website for Gallery Espresso in downtown Savannah: ostensibly a comfy, homey, artsy, laid back coffee house - just what we would be wanting.

Apropos of nothing Savannah, I had discovered Mariage Frères tea (only THE BEST tea in the world) not too long ago and, being a tea junkie and a snobby one at that, had been going about trying to find an outlet on the west coast. The only one my search brought up was in New York City and it was très expensive.  Well, so is Mariage Frères tea, but I still wanted it.
As dumb luck, divine providence, or whimsy would have it, after walking all over historic Savannah our first morning there, we tiredly headed over to my website find to refresh ourselves with a soothing cup of tea and I practically swooned when I saw the extensive display of, you guessed it, Mariage Frères tea.

Be still my heart.

You may well ask what all this has to do with ice cream.  Patience, grasshopper.
Not only does Gallery Espresso carry all manner of Mariage Frères teas, you can even buy a cup of it! Imagine that.  Or 5 cups if you wish, which is about how many I had during our 3-day stay.  Served to you by very friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff, who will also sell you your choice of this lovely tea in either a small sampler tin or a large, très expensive, canister.

And not only that, you can contact Jules, who is in charge of all things tea, on line, put in an order and she will mail it to you post haste, and it isn't near as expensive as ordering it from NYC.
And not only that, Gallery Espresso is everything we could have asked for in a coffee house and I highly recommend it.  This is not a pinkies in the air kind of place; students pack the overstuffed couches and easy chairs, laptops cover tables, steaming cups of coffee and tea accompany plates of rustic, home made pastries, soups and salads while monthly student art shows hang from the walls.

I was in tea heaven then and still am now, as I brought home four sampler tins of the elixir of my heart and have been sipping tea since.
OK, on to the ice cream.  My little tin of Mariage Frères Japan Green Sencha was the inspiration for this frozen offering.  The ginger was simply a no brainer.  Think about it.  Use fresh and organic from Hawaii if you can get it.

And if you ever come to my kitchen, I will share my little stash of tea.  And feed you ice cream.  Promise.

Ginger Green Tea Ice Cream
Christine's original recipe
(print recipe)
2 1/3 cups 2% milk
3 tea bags good green tea or 2 tablespoons loose leaf green tea
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated, more if desired
8 packets Splenda or 1/3 cup sugar
3 extra-large or 4 large egg yolks
2 packets Splenda or 4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
green paste icing coloring just a little bit on the tip of a toothpick (optional)
2 tablespoons candied ginger, cut into small dice (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, tea, grated ginger and 8 pkts of Splenda or 1/3 cup sugar.  Heat to just under boiling. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing on the solids to extract all the good flavors. Return the milk to the saucepan.
If you wish your ice cream to be green, and it won't be unless you do this, pick up a tiny bit of the coloring paste on the end of a toothpick and swirl it into the warm milk until you attain the color you want.
Heat the milk mixture gently until bubbles form around the edge.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks on high speed of an electric mixer, adding the remaining Splenda or sugar, until the yolks have thickened and become a pale yellow.
Whisk 1/4 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, blending thoroughly, then whisk the egg mixture back into the milk remaining in the saucepan.
Heat this mixture gently on low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens slightly, coats the back of the spoon, and leaves a track on the back of the spoon when you run your finger across.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Pour into a glass container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
Stir in the cold cream prior to processing in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.  Add the candied ginger to the mix during the last 5 minutes of processing.

Life's short ... eat dessert first!

Copyright © 2005-2010, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. I envy your the visit to Savannah. It is a city my husband loves, but one I have not visited. I am not ambitious enough to make ice cream, but this does sound good. I had green tea ice cream for the first time three years ago.

    Richard from Eye Prefer Paris introduced us to Damman Freres tea in the Place des Vosges, and I think it's worthy competition for Mariage Freres. I am not an expert, though.

  2. Someday I'll definitely come for some of that ice cream. Your blog looks great.

  3. Green tea ice cream! Looks delicious! Christine I have an award for you here :)

  4. I love green tea ice cream and have only had it in Japanese reataurant, but look forward to making it at home now!

  5. I love ginger ice cream and I have had green tea but not together sounds divine. I had some sencha green tea with other flowers added in a little tea shop in Figeac in France very refreshing at the time.

  6. Thanks Sophie. I'm glad you like it. I love your enthusiasm!

    We fell in love with Savannah, Mimi, as well as all the rest of that part of the world. If you ever get a chance, do go. You'll be glad you did.
    I just read about Damman Freres tea the other day and now will have to try some also. And how on earth could I have been right at the Place des Vosges and not see them!?!

    Thank you, Kalyn. My kitchen is always open to you! I would be honored.

    Mary! Thank you so much for that sweet award. I'm going to put it up this evening and write up a post. You're a dear!

    Hi Justine. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you do make the ice cream. Keep on cooking!

    Hello my friend Anne. You're no longer anonymous! :) You had tea in a little tea house in Figeac? We spent the night in Figeac but didn't have time to do much sightseeing there. More's the pity. I'm sorry i missed the tea house though.

  7. I have seen some green tea ice cream recipes, and ginger ice cream recipes, but I have never seen them combined. I can't wait for my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment to come in the mail. By the way the sugar video is amazing!

  8. It looks delicious!! I have one question though- is the cream part of the milk ingredients, or do you add that later??

  9. Dear Anon,
    Thank you SO much for pointing out my omission! The cream can be stirred in just before freezing in the ice cream maker. I'll fix that in the post later today.
    Thanks again!


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