thai iced tea is one of my favorite drinks in the whole wide world. whenever i see it on a menu at a thai restaurant or a tea house, i have to order it. i’m compelled. i’m powerless against it.
thai iced tea is spicy, sweet, rich, thick, indulgent. easily one of my top ten favorite beverages in the history of beverages.
an aromatic, refreshing blend of spices and tea, topped off with sweetened condensed milk. perhaps not the healthiest thing to drink all the time, but if you’re going to indulge, boy is this ever a satisfying way to do so!
so. thai iced tea. delicious as it is, but i’m pretty smitten with it in ice cream form.
if you can find thai tea leaves, or thai tea mix in an asian grocery store or online, go for it. i didn’t go that route, for one because i couldn’t find thai tea leaves anywhere, but mostly because most of those mixes have dyes in them, which i find to be an unnecessary additive. your ice cream will be a lovely shade of burnt orange as long as you infuse the milk with the tea and spices for a long enough time, so why bother with artificial dyes?
this ice cream is herbal, piquant, creamy, sweet, smooth and refreshing. it’s perfect on its own, but i like topping it with a bit of lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, mostly because it visually reminds me of thai iced tea. it’s pretty.
if you’re feeling really crazy, drizzle on a teeny tiny bit of sweetened condensed milk for a more traditional and authentic thai tea experience.
also, this ice cream would be so delicious blended up into a milkshake! oh yes, do that. make a thai tea ice cream milkshake.
thai tea ice cream! exclamation point! okay, maybe i’m a little overly excited about it, but i really think you’re going to love this ice cream. it’s pretty swoon-worthy. i think you’ll agree.
thai tea ice cream
Yield: 1 quart ice cream
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 star anise
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
peel of one orange
3 tablespoons loose black tea leaves (china black and orange pekoe are my favorites)
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
combine the milk, sugar, star anise, vanilla bean, cloves, allspice, tea leaves and orange peel in a medium saucepan.
heat over medium heat until milk is simmering and sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
remove saucepan from heat and allow the milk to infuse with the spices for an hour.
after an hour, strain the spices from the milk, and return the milk to the saucepan.
heat milk until gently heated.
in a small bowl. whisk the egg yolk. slowly stream in the heated milk, whisking constantly to temper the egg yolks.
return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. stirring constantly, heat the mixture until thickened. this should take about five minutes.
strain the mixture into a clean bowl, and add the remaining heavy cream.
cover, and chill in the fridge at least four hours, or better yet, overnight.
churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, or about 30 minutes.
transfer to an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to two months.
serve with softly whipped cream, or for an authentic thai iced tea-esque ice cream experience, drizzle with sweetened condensed milk!