shahrzad-tea1I’ve been making ice cream for several years now and it took awhile to get the basics down from the equipment to the technique and the ingredients.  Now that I’ve mastered chocolate, vanilla, and a few other popular flavors, I’ve been delving into some new ones.  One of them is unexpected and yet appears to be nearly addictive so I thought I’d share it with you.  It’s Persian Black Tea Ice Cream.Joy’s roommate from college is Persian so when Joy visits her on the West Coast, she always returns with a bag of Shahrzad blended tea.  Steeped for a cup of tea, Shahrzad has a rich, sweet, creamy taste all its own.  But when you add cream, a vanilla pod, sugar and a pinch of salt, the flavor is exquisite.

Here’s how to make it: put the ingredients for a Philadelphia-style ice cream base (cream, milk, and sugar) into a pot, add a dried vanilla pod, a little less than one-third of a cup of the loose tea, and a pinch of salt.  Let the mixture heat until bubbles just start forming around the edge.  Turn it off and let it steep for about 15 minutes, then put the pot into an ice bath and let the mixture cool.  When it’s cold, strain it and pour it into your ice cream maker to churn, and then freeze it.

This is a great dessert to serve on its own for a special dinner with friends.  They won’t have had it anywhere else and the taste and mouth-feel are luxurious, silky and satisfying.  It also makes a lovely midnight snack, which maybe you can justify since it’s packed with antioxidants.

If you have a specialty food that you’ve mastered, change it up, reinvent it.  And, if you’re willing to share your recipe, post it in our comments below so we can all enjoy it.

Bon appetit!

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