This recipe has been a long time coming, and I know a lot of people have been waiting for it. Sorry it took so long! I have a huge backlog of recipes to post.
So, I am in absolutely no financial situation to be buying frivolous stuff right now, but luckily, I’m in this focus group where when I participate, I earn Amazon gift certificates. And, I have so many banked right now that I decided it was time to treat myself to something I’ve been wanting since I got my KitchenAid mixer last summer: the ice cream attachment.
I ordered it online, and I excitedly unboxed it one night with Charlie. We were in our bedroom, and I was sitting on our bed, and he was in our comfy chair. I took the components out of the box, and….
….was horribly disappointed. The bowl is SO heavy! I suppose I should have read how heavy the actual box that was shipping before I ordered it, but I’m terrible about things such as spatial relations and estimating weights and that type of thing. I’m lucky that now after tons of practice I can estimate a teaspoon and a tablespoon! Even with the bowl unfrozen, it was very unwieldy for me and my arthritic hands. I knew it would be even worse when the bowl was frozen, since I have Raynaud’s Syndrome, which commonly goes along with RA and/or fibromyalgia. Raynaud’s makes it difficult for the blood vessels in your hands to circulate enough blood to your limbs, and instead, all of your blood goes to your core. It means that my hands and feet are cold all the time, and sometimes numb and hard to move, but especially when I touch cold things, like, say, my frozen extremely heavy ice cream bowl. I just didn’t anticipate that it would be this difficult.
Anyway, Charlie and I talked it over, and I considered sending it back. Since it was so heavy, though, it probably would have cost almost as much to pay the return shipping as it had cost for the discounted item! So, I decided to keep it, and we decided that it would be a “together” project… one that I would only do when Charlie or another buddy was around to help me with the bowl. (I can just imagine dropping that frozen thing and breaking some frozen toes – yikes!)
When I finally got over my initial disappointment, I decided I’d make ice cream for when our friend Jack came over that weekend. Jack doesn’t like chocolate, and that’s somewhat limiting in terms of ice cream flavors! All of us are very into tea, however, and I had recently received a shipment of tea from The Tea Table. I knew I had some Masala Chai that would be super yummy in ice cream.
I get my groceries delivered from Peapod, and I didn’t have time to look up recipes, so I guessed at what might be in ice cream. Turns out, it wasn’t what a lot of recipes recommended, but it definitely worked.
Finally, I came up with the genius idea of adding shortbread cookies to the ice cream… that way, it would be like having milky tea and cookies all in one, which I am a huge fan of after living in London. So here it is… Chai Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookies!
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
6 “teabags” (I used loose leaf tea, so this is the equivalent of about 12-18 grams of masala chai)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dozen shortbread cookies, cut into chunks (I used Keebler “Sandies”)
Freeze your ice cream bowl according to manufacturer’s instructions – mine has to go in about 15 hours in advance.
Heat milk, cream, and sugar together in a saucepan on the stove on low-medium heat until they reach about 170 degrees, stirring occasionally. If you don’t have a candy/tea thermometer (I sure don’t, but probably should with all the tea I drink!) Alton Brown tells me that I can just carefully watch the edges of the pan for bubbles. When it starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Dunk your teabags in for a good 5-6 minutes, depending on the brewing instructions on the tea. In other words, steep them for the longest time that your tea recommends.
Remove tea bags (try to squeeze them a bit so that the really concentrated tea brew will stay in the pot, not in the tea bags. Add the vanilla and stir.
Cool the mixture in the refrigerator completely. This may take quite a long time – plan on at least 4 hours.
Pass the mixture through a sieve to take off any skin that may have formed. Prepare the mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions, adding the cookies in the last few minutes.
Transfer to a shallow plastic airtight container. Freeze for at least 2 hours to achieve hard ice cream consistency.