Has it really been three years since I first made green tea ice cream (eek, excuse the poor photos!)? That recipe was quite simple and pretty satisfying but recently, I was introduced to Jeni's Ice Creams here in NYC and well, you can say I became a bit obsessed.
Jeni's ice cream does not use eggs and I've made ice creams without but they always turned out a bit melty/watery and not as creamy. Jeni's ice cream base uses cornstarch and cream cheese to hold everything together and creates a dreamy creamy ice cream that is not overly rich as yolk-based ice creams. And, Jeni's is not too sweet - I didn't even have to add extra sugar to balance out the bitter flavor of this matcha ice cream. All this to say, I could indulge in endless scoops of this ice cream compared to others that leave that unpleasant film-y mouth feel.
So, if you've never had Jeni's I suggest you make a beeline to one of their scoop shops, seek out one of their delightful pints, or make some to enjoy at home!
Matcha Ice Cream
adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
I like my green tea strong, but if you like yours less bitter, use 2 tablespoons of matcha powder. Remember, the flavor will dull a bit once it is cold. Omit the matcha if you'd prefer to experiment with Jeni's basic ice cream base. Please take note of the extra steps below if using non-homogenized milk and cream.
2 cups whole milk*
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) cream cheese, softened
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (30 ml)
2 1/2 tablespoons matcha (green tea) powder
In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch.
In a medium heat-safe bowl, whisk together cream cheese and salt until smooth.
Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water. Prepare a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag.
In a medium 4-quart saucepan, combine the rest of the milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling over medium heat for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in matcha powder (if possible, sift the powder into milk mixture), then the cornstarch slurry.
Return the mixture to medium-heat and continue cooking until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and carefully pour into the heat-safe bowl containing the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth.
*At this point, if using non-homogenized milk & cream, carefully pour the mixture to a food processor or blender and process for 2 minutes. This process must be repeated after the mixture is chilled, before pouring into the ice cream machine in order to fully homogenize the milk.
Pour mixture into freezer bag, over prepared ice bath. Seal and submerge bag to chill until cold - about 30 minutes, adding more ice if necessary.
Transfer chilled ice cream mixture into ice cream machine/bowl attachment and churn according to manufacturer's instructions, about 20-25 minutes. Store churned ice cream in an airtight container and freeze until firm, about 3-4 hours.