I’m back with another ice cream recipe! I was missing Asia this week (can you be homesick for a place you only lived in for 6 months?) so today we’re making Thai Tea ice cream, inspired by the iconic iced beverage from Thailand.
If you’ve never tried Thai tea before, I highly recommend you make your way to a Thai restaurant and order one. It’s made from a Ceylon black tea blend and sweetened with condensed milk. I actually made this and my Black Sesame ice cream at the same time, with the intent of just making mochi ice cream (recipe coming soon), but the ice cream itself turned out so great that I figured I would share it anyway.
One of the best things about this ice cream is that it uses condensed milk, which is not only vital to the flavor but also helps to keep the ice cream soft and creamy. For the Thai tea itself, I actually used the ChaTraMue (or Number One Brand Tea) Extra Gold mix that I bought in Thailand. I believe you can purchase it online, but you can also use whatever Thai tea mix you can find. I hear the Panthai brand works great.
The process of making this ice cream is very similar to the Black Sesame ice cream from earlier this week. The most important thing to keep in mind is to very carefully temper your eggs. You don’t want any cooked yolks floating around in your ice cream (yuck). If you work quickly and stir constantly, you’ll be just fine.
I don’t know if this recipe will work without an ice cream maker, but you could probably make it happen. Just freeze the mixture and make sure to mix it every couple of hours to make sure you’re breaking up the ice crystals. Store in an airtight container, or (my personal favorite) a loaf pan covered in plastic wrap. It should last in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Thai Tea Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup Thai Tea mix (around 10-15 tea bags)
- pinch salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Pour your heavy cream into a smaller bowl and place inside ice bath.
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sweetened condensed milk, Thai tea, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture starts to steam.
- Removed from heat and cover with a lid. Let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve (if needed, line the sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth).
- Return the mixture to saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook until it just starts to steam.
- Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour some of the warm milk mixture into the eggs, whisking vigorously and continuously. Continue to do so until about half of the milk mixture has been incorporated. Do this very slowly, as to not cook your eggs.
- Pour egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium-low heat. Stir constantly, until the mixture thickens. This should take around 5 to 7 minutes, and should coat the back of your spatula.
- Pour mixture through a sieve one more time into the small bowl in your ice bath. Add almond extract.
- Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, remove from the water and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Once it is fully chilled, pour into your ice cream maker. Churn for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer to a freezer safe container (I used a loaf pan and covered the top with plastic wrap) and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.