This Earl Grey Ice Cream is like an iced London Fog Latte, it is creamy and tastes like bergamot and black tea. The flavors are subtle and hard not to like. If you want a little extra floral punch, you can add a touch of lavender. It makes for a pretty swirl too, don't you think?
Ice cream is the perfect ending to any meal during the summer and by using the no-churn method you don't even need an ice cream maker. Other no-churn ice creams I love are chocolate coffee ice cream and pistachio ice cream. For a naturally vegan option, this piña colada ice cream is dreamy.
So make sure you give those a try too!
Why you’ll love this recipe
You'll love this recipe if you like simple desserts. This one is easy to make, and you don't need fancy ice cream machines. You don't have to turn on the oven or anything so it's the perfect warm-weather activity.
The flavors are mild, so if you like vanilla ice cream, I'm sure you will love this Earl Grey ice cream too. The same goes for if you like creamy desserts, then you will like this.
- Heavy cream - whipped heavy cream is what makes the dessert airy and fluffy, in addition to creamy of course.
- Earl Grey tea bags - or loose tea leaves. Infusing the heavy cream with tea is the easiest way to get the flavor into the ice cream.
- Dried lavender buds - this is optional, but I like this extra step of making the lavender swirl. Dividing the heavy cream and add lavender to half of it. Earl Grey tea is flavored with bergamot orange, and lavender is the perfect pairing.
- Sweetened condensed milk - acts as the thick base of your ice cream, while whipped cream acts as the air and lightness. Together they have taken a shortcut to creamy, delicious ice cream.
- Gin or any other liquor - adding alcohol to the ice cream makes the freezing point lower, resulting in creamier ice cream. You can use whatever you want, but I figured gin was the Londonest, Englishest alcohol to go for.
- Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean - who doesn't love vanilla ice cream? I only used pure vanilla extract in the Earl Grey ice cream. But you could also use a vanilla bean when you heat up the heavy cream.
- Salt - to enhance the flavors.
- Purple food color - if you decide to do the lavender swirl, I recommend adding some purple food color to make the ice cream look more interesting.
The steps to this Earl Grey ice cream depend on whether you want to make the lavender swirl or not. Both are super easy!
Start by heating up the heavy cream and tea bags on low heat until the heavy cream is warm but not simmering. Take it off the heat and let it infuse for a minimum of 30 minutes, but I let the tea bags in until the next day (1). When it reaches room temperature, I move it to the refrigerator.
If you decide to make the lavender swirl, divide the warm tea-infused heavy cream into two containers, add the 1 tea bag to one and the remaining 2 bags to the other. In the one with 1 tea bag, add 1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds. Let infuse until the next day, preferably (2).
For either option, place plastic wrap directly on top of the heavy cream so that it doesn't form a crust in the refrigerator.
The next day, take the tea bags and lavender buds out of the heavy cream(s) (3). Divide the sweetened condensed milk, gin, and salt equally into each heavy cream. Add pure vanilla extract to the one without lavender.
For both, use a handheld mixer and mix until the mixtures have stiff peaks (4). For the one with lavender, add purple food color too (5).
Add the whipped mixture to a bread pan or 8x8 inch (20 cm) baking pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.
If you want to make lavender swirls, when adding the ice cream to the pan, do so in random dollops of each color (6) and then carefully swirl it with a spoon (7). I did 3 layers of scoops, swirling each layer. Then froze until solid.
Either way, this deliciously mild ice cream is perfect for tea lovers!
No-churn ice cream can be stored in the freezer for at least 6 months, but it can work for up to a year. The most important thing for ensuring a good quality of the ice cream is to keep it cold at all times. The more it melts and re-freezes, the more crystallized it will become.
A tip is to always have parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream, to avoid freezer burn.
What is no-churn ice cream?
No-churn ice cream is ice cream that hasn't been churned (in an ice cream maker). It is a shortcut to great ice cream without doing all the steps, just simply whipping and mixing. In an ice cream maker, you churn air into a thick custard. The churning breaks up the ice crystals, making the ice cream smooth and creamy.
The secret for no-churn ice cream lies in a two-part process. Sweetened condensed milk acts as the thick base of your ice cream, while whipped cream acts as the air and lightness. Together they have taken a shortcut to creamy, delicious ice cream.
Why use sweetened condensed milk?
As I mentioned above, the sweetened condensed milk acts as the thick custard when making ice cream. It is a way to prevent ice crystallization because it has less liquid than regular milk.
How to prevent ice crystallization?
Using as little liquid as possible is important to prevent ice crystallization, hence why we use sweetened condensed milk.
In addition, keeping all the ingredients cold at all times is also important. This is because when the mixture melts and re-freezes, the ice cream changes consistency and it can cause crystallization.
A third tip is to keep parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn.
Why alcohol in homemade ice cream?
Alcohol doesn't freeze, so adding a tiny amount of alcohol to the ice cream will reduce the freezing point of the ice cream. And that will make the ice cream creamier!
Is Earl Grey the same as English Breakfast tea?
No. Both are black teas, but English breakfast tea is made of several kinds of black tea.
- English Breakfast Tea: It is made of Assam (malty and bitter), Ceylon (piney and sour), Kenyan (fruity and floral), and Keemun (citric and smoky). This makes the English breakfast tea full-bodied, robust and rich. And perfect to go with milk and sugar.
- Earl Grey: This is a much smoother and milder tea. It also has less caffeine. Earl Grey is flavored with the oil of bergamot. The bergamot is a fruit that tastes like something between an orange and a lemon, with a hint of grapefruit and lime.
If you prefer English breakfast tea, you can use that in this recipe with no further alterations.
What is a London Fog Latte?
A London Fog Latte has steeped Earl Grey tea with sweetened, frothed milk. It was invented in Vancouver, Canada in the 1990s. It was actually a pregnancy craving from a woman named Mary Loria.
The frothed milk is resembling the fog that is so common in the Vancouver area. The name London refers to the usage of the English Earl Grey tea.
I really love a regular London Fog Latte, and this Earl Grey ice cream is resembling that drink. It is naturally cold, so more like an iced London Fog Latte though.
If you want to make it yourself, I have a recipe for it in my 99 Summer Drinks e-book, along with a lot of other tea and cold, creamy drinks (and other stuff of course).
You can easily customize this no-churn ice cream to other flavors. For example, you can use other teas and other flowers.
As long as it is a tea you would drink with milk, it is a tea that can work in this recipe, I would assume. It could be other black tea or rooibos tea, or oolong tea. Matcha powder could also work, but not really other herbal and green teas.
Other edible flowers include calendula (marigold), rose, chamomile, begonia, clover, honeysuckle flowers (NOT the berries), lilac, elderflower, and violet. My best bets include rose, lilac, and clover for this type of recipe.
I also really love to use a real vanilla bean instead of pure vanilla extract. When you heat up the heavy cream, add a vanilla bean too. Slice it up and scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and bean to the cream.
Either way - enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more summer treats I think you’d love:
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