If you love tea and ice cream you're going to love this pomegranate tea ice cream! This is a simple, super creamy ice cream infused with the fruity, herbal flavor of pomegranate tea. Serve it with magic chocolate shell, or in a tea cup topped with pomegranate seeds!
I am generally not a big tea drinker, but in the cold Boston winter I got into the habit of starting my mornings with a mug of tea. I tried a bunch of different flavors and had a lot of tea bags left as the weather warmed up. My dad loves tea, so when my parents came to visit for the first time since Covid (and for the first time since I graduated pastry school) I decided to take one of my favorite teas and turn it into an ice cream for him. He loved it!
why this recipe works
This simple creme anglaise ice cream base is infused with pomegranate oolong tea bags for a fruity, herbal ice cream that is so refreshing in the summer. It's a unique flavor that you won't find in the freezer aisle, and a really special treat for anyone who loves tea. The slightly tart-slightly sweet flavor of pomegranate is so perfect for ice cream!
You only need a few key ingredients to make this creamy creme anglaise pomegranate oolong tea ice cream. And the food coloring is totally optional, but does ensure you get that pretty pink color!
- Heavy cream - aka Heavy Whipping Cream. They're the same thing. You'll need about a cup of it.
- Whole milk - Anything less than whole milk (1%, 2%, skim, etc.) doesn't have enough fat in it to work well in an ice cream base.
- 1 large egg AND 1 large egg yolk - The double egg yolk is the secret ingredient that makes this oolong tea ice cream super creamy and smooth. Save the extra egg white for later, you can use it as an egg wash, to make fried rice, or add it to another egg for scrambled eggs.
- Sugar - Regular granulated sugar.
- Pomegranate Tea - I used Harney & Sons Pomegranate Oolong tea bags, but you can use any pomegranate tea you like. If you prefer loose leaf tea, that's fine too; the leaves will get strained out in the final step.
- Red gel food coloring - This is totally optional, but will give your ice cream that gorgeous pink color.
how to make pomegranate tea ice cream
I went into a lot more detail about the 6 steps of making a creme anglaise ice cream base in my crumb cake ice cream post!
- Combine heavy cream, whole milk, 5 tea bags, and a couple drops of red gel food coloring (optional) in a small pot.
- Scald heavy cream mixture - Heat on low-medium, and when you tilt the pot and see lots of bubbles on the bottom, turn the heat off. Steep for 10 minutes. DO NOT BOIL!
- Ribbon eggs and sugar - Whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and a “ribbon” trails from the end of the whisk. This will take 1-2 mins.
- Temper - Slowly drizzle the hot cream mixture into the eggs and sugar whisking constantly so the eggs don’t scramble.
- Cook to thicken - Transfer the mixture back to the pot over low-medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the spoon. DO NOT BOIL!
- Strain and chill - Strain to remove any lumps. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight before churning.
Once your ice cream base is completely chilled, churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker you can use the ice cream in a bag method to churn this into ice cream!
a few quick recipe notes
- I wrote much more about the 6 steps of making creme anglaise in my crumb cake ice cream post but the most important thing to remember is: DO NOT BOIL creme anglaise.
- If you don't want to buy whole milk, just replace the whole milk with more heavy cream. Don't replace it with lower fat milks, those won't work as well.
- Make sure you give the ice cream base plenty of time to chill before you churn it. This gives the creme anglaise time to mature. You can even put the tea bags back into the pomegranate tea ice cream base and let them steep again in the fridge before churning for a more intense flavor.
- When ice cream finishes churning it'll still be fairly soft. Pop it into the freezer after churning to let it firm up into ice cream.
- I made this using the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker which I borrowed from my friend Emily. It's an incredible ice cream maker that can turn around batches of ice cream in less than an hour without needing to chill the bowl beforehand. It does have a slightly smaller churning bucket though — this recipe will make slightly more than a pint of ice cream. If you have a bigger ice cream maker you might want to double this recipe.
- The best whisk for ribboning eggs and sugar together, imo, is the GIR ultimate 11" whisk. I wrote more about why it's one of my favorite, most efficient whisks here.
Yep! You can use any tea you like. I like the fruity pomegranate and herbal oolong, but if you have something else you like more, go for it!
It definitely helps! But you can always use the ice-cream-in-a-bag churning method too.
You'll need about 8-10 grams of loose leaf tea.
I don't know why it forms, but it's totally normal. Just stir it back in, it'll be fine.
pomegranate oolong tea ice cream
- 240 grams heavy cream (1 cup)
- 120 grams whole milk (½ cup)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 75 grams sugar (⅓ cup)
- 5 pomegranate oolong tea bags (or tea of your choice)
- 2 drops red gel food coloring (optional)
- Scald the milk and cream. Use a small clip to anchor the tea bags to the side of the pot. Combine milk, heavy cream, and red food coloring (if using) in a small sauce pot over medium heat, stirring constantly. When you start to see bubbles around the edges of the milk, tilt the pot forward. When you see lots of bubbles on the bottom of the pot, turn the heat off and let the mixture continue steeping for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.If you tilt the pot forward and don't see lots of bubbles, keep stirring over medium heat and repeat until you do. Do NOT boil.
- Ribbon eggs and sugar. In a heat-safe bowl, vigorously whisk together eggs and sugar until slightly pale and creamy.
- Temper tea into egg mixture. Use a spatula to press as much liquid out of the tea bags as possible, then discard the tea bags. Place the bowl of eggs and sugar on top of a folded kitchen towel to hold it in place. With the whisk in your dominant hand, slowly drizzle the hot tea mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble.
- Cook to thicken. Once all the milk has been added, whisk for about 20-30 seconds, then transfer the mixture back to the pot over low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pot, until the mixture reaches "nappe" consistency, meaning it coats the back of the wooden spoon.Do NOT boil. Keep it at a gentle heat and be patient, it will thicken after a few minutes.
- Strain out any lumps. Pour the mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a heat-safe container.
- Chill. Immediately place the container in an ice bath (or cold water bath) to bring the temperature down enough that you can put a lid on it (stir it occasionally to speed up this process), then place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight, before churning.
- Churn. According to your ice cream maker's instructions. Transfer churned ice cream to an airtight container. Press a sheet of plastic against the surface of the ice cream, place the lid on the container, and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.