Thursday, October 2, 2014

Low Carb Black Currant Tea Ice Cream

This is another low carb conversion from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz. This one is similar to the toasted coconut ice cream I did a while back except Black Currant Tea is the main flavoring ingredient. This is going to be a long one to do since it involves heating the milk and part of the cream base and brewing the tea in the base for an hour, making a custard out of the egg yolks, yadda yadda...

I’m not a tea drinker, so I don’t know which brands are good, nor have I heard of black currant tea until reading it in David’s book. I mostly trust Amazon’s reviews, so I picked up a tin made by Harney and Sons. You know they must take their teas seriously based on their instructions:

Heat pot with boiling water until warm, to touch.
Discard that water and use one sachet for two cups of tea.
Pour boiling water over sachet and steep 5 minutes.

I...uh... if I discard the water... where do I get the boiling water to pour...? See, this is why I don’t drink tea! Anyway, the “sachets” are really fancy tea bags. I discovered that if you cut open about 7 of them, it will yield about 15 grams, which is about ¼ cup of tea leaves.

Tea satchels.

The flavor of the finished ice cream is... unique. I never knew what black currant tea tasted like before. It’s a very complex, fruity flavor. This ice cream would go great after a meal, maybe combined with another exotic flavor. David recommends pairing this with chocolate fudge sauce, which I tried, but I think I like it as-is.

Remember in the past when I recommended to not use Trader Joe’s Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk because it might taste funny when heated? Disregard my reservations. It works fine. In fact, it works great since its viscosity is similar to real milk, so go ahead and use it.


¼ cup (15 g) black currant tea leaves
2¼ cups (536 g) heavy cream, divided
1 cup (242 g) Trader Joe’s Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk
1½ tablespoons Truvia
5 large egg yolks
21 drops EZ-Sweetz
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener
1 tablespoon (18 g) vegetable glycerin
Big pinch salt


  1. In a small pot, add 1 cup of heavy cream (238 g), the unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and tea leaves. Heat on stove top at medium heat until it reaches approximately 200 °F while stirring periodically.

    Tea, milk, and cream mixture.

    Remove from heat and cover tightly. Let it steep for 1 hour.
  2. The mixture will look like this:

    Tea, milk and cream mixture after steeping.

    Don’t panic, just whisk it a little.

    Tea, milk and cream mixture after steeping.

    Rewarm the tea-infused mixture on medium-low to about 170 °F to 175 °F. Set a mesh strainer over a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and strain the tea-infused liquid through the strainer.

    Strained tea leaves.

    Press down on the tea leaves very firmly with a flexible rubber spatula to extract as much of the flavor from it as possible. Scrape out any remnants from the pot using the spatula and pour the tea-infused liquid back into the pot and return it to the heat. Discard the strained tea leaves.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and whisk them together. Slowly pour the warm tea-infused mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the pot and return it to the stove top.

    Whisking warmed mixture into egg yolks.
    Making the custard.

    Add the remaining 1¼ cups (298 g) heavy cream and EZ-Sweetz to the Pyrex measuring cup, and put the strainer on top of it.
  4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.

    Custard is done.

    The temperature should not exceed 175 °F. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.

    Strained out egg bits.
    Custard in heavy cream.

    Mix in the xanthan gum or Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener.
  5. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Add glycerin, and salt after it’s cooled.

    Ice bath.

  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until ready.
  7. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions for making ice cream. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and freeze until solid.
Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

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