On a seemingly normal day, my friend and fellow ice cream addict Alisa excitedly mentioned that her neighborhood grocery was now carrying Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in the freezer section. "Jeni's Splendid what?" I asked her, not having heard of it before. "Only the best ice cream in the whole wide world of ice cream!" she swooned. Like a Looney Tunes cartoon, it was as though her pupils had turned into ice cream cones.
Even though it was 40 degrees outside (not conducive weather for ice cream), it was only a matter of minutes before we made an outrageously expensive purchase of seasonal ice cream flavors like Dark Chocolate Peppermint and Sweet Potato with Toasted Marshmallows. Upon the first spoonful of the organic, grass-fed ice cream, I knew I wouldn't mind paying $12 a pint for this fluffy, creamy stuff that puts the frozen food section to shame. Just ask my fellow food editors how many animated twirls I did around the office when we received a special package from Jeni's recently. So, I preface this ice cream recipe with this declaration: even if the weather's cold and dreary, 'tis always the season for Jeni's ice cream.
This particular recipe uses Jeni's ice cream base with the addition of matcha green tea powder. The matcha is present but not overwhelming and offers a slight grassy, roasted flavor to the cream. It is undeniably Jeni's in character: so fluffy like marshmallows and light like whipped cream, you'll wonder where the whole milk went. I mean, really, how does she do it? Garnish the ice cream with candied ginger for a spicy punch and brown rice puffs for a contrasting bit of crunch.
Are you ready to bring the recipe home?
If you find that the cream base has lots of green tea chunks, churning it in the ice cream maker should get rid of those. If chunks are still an issue, you can strain the cream base before submerging it in the ice bath.
2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Candied ginger (optional), for garnish
Brown rice puffs (optional), for garnish
- Prep bowls: In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk. Set aside. In a medium-size bowl, blend cream cheese, matcha, and salt with a hand mixer. Set aside. In a 4-quart saucepan, whisk together remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup.
- Cook cream base: Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for exactly 4 minutes, turn off heat, then whisk in slurry until mixture is thick.
- Mix and chill cream base: Slowly pour hot cream mixture into bowl with cream cheese. Whisk or blend with a hand mixer on low, until mixture is fully incorporated. Pour mixture into a large resealable plastic bag, secure it closed, and submerge the bag into a bowl of ice water until chilled throughout.
- Churn and freeze cream base: Meanwhile, set up an ice cream maker with a prefrozen ice cream bowl, then pour chilled cream mixture into ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's instructions for about 25 minutes, or until ice cream pulls away from the sides. Quickly transfer ice cream to a quart-sized container, and freeze for 4 hours, or until ice cream sets.
- Serve and top ice cream: Let ice cream thaw for 5 to 10 minutes on the counter, then scoop and serve in a small bowl. Garnish with candied ginger and rice puffs. Serve immediately.
- Desserts, Ice cream
- Makes 1 quart