As the dog days of summer are winding down (hopefully!) and the thought of cooler days ahead reanimates my wish to cook, I am ready to take my tea in a different form—frozen. Although when the mercury is heading down the thermometer, ice cream consumption surely wanes, I like to follow a cooling dish of tea ice cream with a warming cuppa and a crisp cookie, whether it’s tea time or not.

Dairy and some kinds of tea are traditionally best friends so I offer here a way to combine them for deliciously cold and rich results. And I don’t mean those artificially colored and ersatz green tea-flavored ice creams. I choose here to use Keemun, a particularly aromatic Chinese black tea, infuse it into milk, add sugar to the hot milk, enrich the resulting mixture with some heavy cream and then freeze. Here are the particulars:

Yield: generous quart

  • 16 ozs.  (2 c.) whole milk
  • ½ oz Keemun tea leaves
  • 5 ozs. (approximately ¾ c.) granulated sugar
  • 16 ozs. (2 c.) heavy cream
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
Photo of ice cream in an ice cream maker
Photo of creamy homemade ice cream on a homemade crisp cookie
  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Add the tea leaves and the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then remove from heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the tea leaves to extract as much of the liquid that they have absorbed as possible. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then add the heavy cream and vanilla.

  1. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream machine (best results from one that turns the mixture while it freezes).
  2. Once frozen, remove to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Follow with a cuppa and a crisp tea cookie of your choice.

Based on a recipe adapted from The Dessert Architect by Robert Wemischner ©2014

Photo “Bacon Caramel Maple Ice Cream” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Joy and is being posted unaltered (source)

Photo “Mmm…on cookies!” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer “jeffreyw” and is being posted unaltered (source)