This is my first custom ice cream flavor. Honey vanilla ginger chamomile tea ice cream. It’s a mouthful, in more ways than one.
Last night was a rare night of free time for me. And as I sat there trying to decide if I should make myself a nice cup of honey vanilla chamomile tea to help me digest the copious amounts of Chicken Pelau that my husband Tom made for dinner, or to throw caution to the wind and have a bowl of my work-in-progress green tea ice cream (it’s delicious, but the texture isn’t quite there yet), it suddenly dawned on me: why not go with the gluttonous flow of the evening and have both? As a bonus, I had some leftover honey that had started crystallizing in its huge Costco-sized jar, some ginger that was on its last legs. And since I love finding ways to repurpose leftovers, I got up off the couch (a feat in itself) to test my idea. I didn’t care that it was almost 10 PM.
I’m glad I did, because that ice cream base? It was so good that I just had to text Tim (who was at a friend’s house watching a movie): “I think I may have just invented an ice cream base that’s so good, you might cry when you taste it.”
And I couldn’t wait to share it with you, too. Because I think it really is that good, and okay, maybe I need some company in the crying corner.
To flavor the base, I steeped about 2 tablespoons of chamomile flowers in 1 cup of fat-free half-and-half. Mostly because it was a quart purchased by mistake, and I could think of no other use for it. You can certainly use regular half-and-half or whole milk for this. I also had half a can of coconut milk in my fridge left over from the chicken pelau, so I dumped that in as well.
The flavors of the ginger, chamomile, honey, and vanilla fully infused the cream, and it was a good thing that I did this at about 10 PM, because it gave me a reason to leave it untouched in the freezer overnight to finish freezing. So, like a good girl, I packed it into a container and then went on to
lick clean up the ice cream machine parts.
Want to guess what I had for breakfast today?
Honey Vanilla Chamomile Tea Ice Cream
(Recipe courtesy of my warped sleep-deprived mind that doesn’t know what to do with unexpected free time)
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk (I used fat-free half-and-half)
1/2 can (14 oz. can) coconut milk (optional)
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey, to taste
2 tablespoons chamomile flowers (or 2 to 3 bags chamomile tea, to taste)
3/4-inch-long piece of ginger, sliced thickly into about 3 or 4 slices
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put the half-and-half or milk, coconut milk (if using), honey, chamomile and ginger in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the honey, and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and continue steeping. When slightly cooled, pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Put in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes, or until sufficiently cooled. Strain into another container, then pour into the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 1.5 quarts.
The ice cream almost has a faint taste of dulce de leche to it, perhaps from the honey and vanilla flavors. It’s wonderfully rich, and I highly recommend you try it.
Just try to make it late at night if you can, and try not to get your tongue stuck to the frozen ice cream canister.
Not that I’d know anything about that.