I first encountered green tea ice cream (抹茶アイスクリーム Matcha aisu kurīmu) many years ago whilst dining at a Japanese restaurant in my hometown of La Mesa, CA – which is the first suburb city bordering with the city of San Diego when traveling East on Interstate 8 – at the time, green tea ice cream was unavailable for purchase at your local grocery store. I instantly was pleasantly surprised by its unique taste and texture. Some years later, when living in Las Vegas, NV – I happened upon an excellent Japanese restaurant and once again was delighted when ordering green tea ice cream for dessert. It was just as heavenly tasting as it melted in my mouth as I had remembered it years earlier. Thankfully, a few major ice cream companies now carry this flavor, and you can even get a brand imported from Japan at the market Trader Joes. Here in west-central Illinois, green tea ice cream is not easy to locate, and I’ve not seen any Japanese restaurants within 50-75 miles of me. I’m positive that some hours away from me, in Chicago, I could find it along with most any kind of food. The upside is, I can always make my own! And what could be better than homemade Matcha ice cream, made with my own hands, with all natural ingredients? 🙂
Green Tea Ice Cream (no ice cream maker required)
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 tablespoons green tea powder (Matcha)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
(Coconut cream and milk may be used instead. Read note at bottom about the use of soy milk).
You may purchase Matcha Green Tea Powder online here: http://tinyurl.com/k5h4nlo and you will be given a choice of various brands by following this link. If you are like me, I find buying online to be the easiest way to shop and it saves me the huge cost of gasoline and wear on my vehicle 🙂 If you live in a larger city, you may find it at Asian food markets, some tea shops, or Whole Foods Market.
Matcha 抹茶 or green tea powder is not the same green tea that you drink at home or at Japanese restaurants. So, you can’t grind the regular green tea to make matcha. It is made from shade-grown tea leaves and used for Japanese tea ceremonies and wagashi (Japanese confectioneries).
1. In a small bowl, mix the green tea powder with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.
3. Pour the milk into a small pan and gently heat taking care not to let it boil. Remove from the heat and mix a few spoonsful of the warm milk with the green tea powder and sugar in a small bowl. When you have a smooth paste, add it to the remaining milk in the pan, then gradually combine with the egg yolk mixture.
4. Return mixture to the stove and heat slowly over low heat (taking care to not let the mixture boil), until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine sieve, and allow to cool completely. (If you do not have a fine sieve, you can skip this step, the reason for straining the mixture through a fine sieve before adding in the lightly whipped cream is to make sure it’s perfectly smooth.)
5. Lightly whip the cream and then add it to the cold green tea-milk mixture. 6. Transfer the mixture to a large container and [chill for an hour or two in the refrigerator] and then put it in the freezer. As ice crystals start to form, remove from freezer, and mix well with a wooden spoon, return the mixture to the freezer. Repeating this a few times as it freezes makes the ice cream smooth.
***A tip when making any ice cream recipes the old-fashioned way [without an ice cream maker] is to always chill it for an hour or two in your refrigerator before putting it in the freezer. A cooler mixture will always freeze much more quickly.
***Soy milk and soy products in general…and regarding replacing dairy ingredients with soy milk…Americans eat far too much soy (it’s hidden in almost all processed foods, everything!). I suggest you read this article http://wellnessmama.com/3684/is-soy-healthy as well as many other articles online to educate yourself and make your own decision. Bottom line, I won’t use soy products in any of my recipes. Personally, I can do without adding anything to my diet that will only add to estrogen dominance problems in women.
Health Benefits of Green Tea: The health benefits of Matcha (Green) Tea are typically greater than those of standard green tea because when you drink matcha you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. It is exceptionally high in antioxidants and contains a potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, including the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides cancer-fighting properties. Green tea is also rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the brains functioning creating alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness. (https://matcha.com/pages/matcha-health-benefits)
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