I know that it’s crazy cold out, and I know that it’s January and I’m supposed to be on a health kick. The thing is…I love ice cream. And I love making ice cream, and I love eating ice cream, and I’m a little lactose sensitive, and I have very little self control, and ice cream.
So that’s just about that.
I was thinking about how ice cream was going to come into play in the cooler months, and the obvious answer is by using comforting winter flavors. Today we are taking a look at Chai Ice Cream and, if you’re really feeling it, Pumpkin Chai Ice cream. My sister introduced me to the yummy flavor combo of Pumpkin Chai and now, much like ice cream, I can’t quit it. The pumpkin is absolutely optional, though, so leave it out if you’d like!
As always, this ice cream is super simple. The base takes about fifteen minutes to make, then I chill it in the fridge over night to cool (that’s also when I put my ice cream maker in the freezer, because I always forget). The next day the base goes in the ice cream maker for about then minutes. From there, I transfer to pint containers and freeze for a few hours, or just top it with some whipped cream and enjoy the immediate satisfaction of a milkshake. Either way, it’s a super delicious winter treat!
Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream
– 2 cups milk
– 4 tsp cornstarch
– 1 ¼ heavy cream
– 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp sugar
– 2 tbsp corn syrup
– ¼ tsp kosher salt
– 4 chai tea bags (I used Tazo brand)
– 1 ½ oz cream cheese
– 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, completely optional
Make the base: In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the milk, and set aside. In a saucepan, bring the rest of the milk, the cream, 2/3 cup sugar, syrup and the salt to a boil, and boil for 4 minutes exactly. Stir in the slurry, and boil for about a minute; add the tea bags and steep for 10 minutes. While that’s steeping, in a small bowl (I used the same one I had the starch mixture in) mix the cream cheese with about ½ cup of the milk mixture, until it’s completely lump free. Remove the tea bags from the milk, and mix the cheese and milk mixtures together; cool completely.
Note: some people use an ice bath to cool the base immediately, but I like to make the base the day before, and let it sit in the fridge. This is also helpful because it reminds me to put my ice cream maker into the freezer to sit overnight, as well.
Make the ice cream: assemble your ice cream maker. Pour the base into the freezer and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions. When there are about five minutes left, you can add the pumpkin mixture if you’re going that route. Once the mixture reaches a firm soft-serve stage, transfer the ice cream to freezer containers and freeze for at least two hours, to really firm up. Or, transfer it to a pint glass and top with whipped cream and enjoy as a milkshake- totally your call.