Casting caution to the windswith the world going to hell in a handbasket or tea caddyand going to great pains to score some cream, milk, and marmalade (I recently made a few jars from the fruits of my backyard tree), I embarked on a process that’s a twin pleasure: The making and the eating of handmade ice cream. Raid your tea cabinet for the freshest, most flavorful, and above all – your most favorite bunch of leaves. The process is simple and straightforward. Your goal is to extract the most flavor from that tea given that fat (read: cream) carries flavor to the palate so be sure to allow enough time to infuse the tea’s flavor into the cream, which will be the basis of your eggless frozen concoction. 

Whether you have an electric ice cream freezer or not, you can achieve creamy bliss with this recipe. Here’s how it goes: 

Makes a generous pint (just enough for one sitting)

  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. full fat or 2% milk
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. good quality aromatic tea leaves (the choice is yours: I love Keemun here)
  • ½ c. Seville orange (or any other kind of citrus) marmalade with the pieces of peel, finely chopped
  1. Bring the cream, milk, tea, and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to be sure that the sugar has all dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 15 minutes. Be sure that the liquid has taken on a tea-colored tinge, indicating that the flavor of the tea is infusing the liquid. If the tea flavor is not prominent enough for your taste, allow the mixture to stand for an additional 5 or 10 minutes.
  3. Now pour through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the tea.
  4. Stir in the marmalade. Taste the mixture now for sweetness, remembering that the sweetness will seem slightly muted when consuming this when it is frozen as ice cream.  NOTE: If you wish to make it sweeter now you might wish to add some Lyle’s golden syrup or honey just enough to mellow the mixture and telegraph the message that you are making dessert, not creamy tea. 

The bitterness of the peel in the marmalade is a perfect complement to the tea and keeps the mixture just north of Candyland-cloying. Freeze in an ice cream machine (which churns and turns keeping the mixture ice crystal-free) or in a shallow dish covered in the freezer (you will need scrape the mixture every 15 minutes or so—depending on how cold the freezer isto break up any obvious ice crystals as the mixture freezes. If you are using an ice cream machine, remove the mixture from the canister and place it into a container that has a good, tight-fitting lid. Freeze again to allow flavors to settle, for at least 4 hours (less if you are anxious to try it; more if your freezer is slow to freeze). Sit back and enjoy your creation. Let it be a momentary respite from the madness.

Photo “Orange popsicle ice cream” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Jessica Merz and is being posted unaltered (source)