I have a confession to make. This might come as a surprise coming from someone who claims to love food. I don’t really like ice cream. There, I said it. It’s often just too rich, too creamy, and too cloyingly sweet for my tastes. Blasphemous, I know! I’ve always been more of a frozen yogurt kind of girl for this reason. Most ice cream recipes use eggs to create a creamy, custard base. I usually avoid using eggs entirely. This not only takes the fuss out of ice cream making, it also yields a much lighter texture.
I was in frozen dessert heaven when I was in Japan. The ice cream and frozen yogurt was complex in flavor and not too creamy. With flavors like black sesame & honey, matcha, cherry blossom, and sweet tofu, my sister and I made it our mission to try every single flavor we couldn’t get in the U.S.
While I loved all the novelty flavors that I tried on my trip, my favorite will always be matcha ice cream. Matcha is just finely milled green tea leaves that’s often used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s available at Asian grocery stores and even some specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. Matcha varies greatly in quality and price. If it’s available, look for “culinary grade” or “culinary quality” matcha, which tends to be a little cheaper.
I found this recipe on a wonderful blog called Just One Cookbook. Nami posts delicious recipes for authentic Japanese dishes like Tonkatsu and the ever popular Japanese Beef Curry. She does an amazing job demystifying Japanese cooking techniques, and her photography is gorgeous. I can literally get lost on her site for hours!
I love this matcha ice cream recipe because it comes closest to the stuff we ate in Japan. The matcha lends a slightly bitter note that complements the sweetness of the ice cream. And as always, there are no eggs in this recipe, so the texture is a little less creamy, but no less delicious.
Hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups half and half (I used 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream)
- 3 tablespoons 100 percent green tea powder (matcha powder)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- In a large sauce pan whisk together the half and half, green tea powder, sugar and salt. Heat the mixture until it comes to a full boil. Keep whisking until mixture starts to foam, then remove from heat.
- Refrigerate the mixture until completely chilled.
- Churn for 15-20 minutes in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer ice cream into an airtight container and freeze until hard. (At least three hours)