Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hibiscus Ice Cream

I was drinking a glass of hibiscus tea and I thought it might make an interesting flavor for ice cream.

So, of course I made some. The interesting thing was that the tea didn't infuse into the milk as quickly or efficiently as I expected. Probably because the teabags are designed so water passes through. But my milk/cream mixture was a lot thicker.

Maybe it would have worked better with just the milk, since it's thinner than the cream/milk mixture. It worked well enough with a little encouragement, though. I had to squeeze and massage the teabags to get the flavor and color infused into the milk. The other choice, I suppose, would have been to open the teabags and dump the contents into the pan with the milk - and then strain the mixture through a fine strainer.

It was really interesting that the mixture turned a lovely purple shade. Hibiscus tea is a reddish-magenta color when it's steeped in water.

I received the tea from The Republic of Tea as part of my participation in their TEAm, but this is not one of their scheduled posts. I just happen to like hibiscus tea and decided to give this a try.

Hibiscus Tea Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Hibiscus Sangria Ice Tea pouch
2 Hibiscus tea bags
1 tablespoon rum

Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the tea bags and bring the milk to a simmer, then turn the heat off. Squeeze the bags (kitchen tongs work well, or use a spoon to press them) until the milk is colored and flavored with the tea.

Remove the teabags. If you have any hint that the bags might have broken open during the squeezing, strain the mixture through a fine strainer.

Transfer the mixture to a storage container and refrigerate until fully chilled.

When the mixture is cold, churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a storage container to freeze until firm.